Saudi crown prince affirms support for Mauritania during official visit

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott on Sunday in his tour of the Arab world. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott on Sunday in his tour of the Arab world. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott on Sunday in his tour of the Arab world. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, in Nouakchott. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, in Nouakchott. (SPA)
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Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed to enhance cooperation between both countries. (SPA)
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Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed to enhance cooperation between both countries. (SPA)
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Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed to enhance cooperation between both countries. (SPA)
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Mauritania's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz hosts farewell reception as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departs Nouakchott. (SPA)
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Mauritania's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz hosts farewell reception as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departs Nouakchott. (SPA)
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Mauritania's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz hosts farewell reception as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departs Nouakchott. (SPA)
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Mauritania's president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz hosts farewell reception as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departs Nouakchott. (SPA)
Updated 02 December 2018

Saudi crown prince affirms support for Mauritania during official visit

NOUAKCHOTT: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a meeting on Sunday with the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, during an official visit to the country.
The crown prince expressed his pleasure to visit the Mauritanian Republic and conveyed greetings from King Salman.
The crown prince landed in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott on Sunday as part of his tour of the Arab world.
He expressed his “great satisfaction at the depth of the fraternal relations between the two brotherly peoples and reiterated their commitment to work hard to develop and strengthen them in order to achieve common bilateral interests.”
The two sides affirmed their firm support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is the establishment of an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and relevant international resolutions.
On Yemen, the two sides affirmed their support for efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism and the outcomes of the comprehensive Yemeni national dialogue.
Meanwhile, the Mauritanian president conveyed his greetings and appreciation to King Salman and renewed his country’s condemnation of any threat and attack on the Kingdom’s security. He also paid tribute to Saudi Arabia’s efforts preserving the region’s security and stability and its international maritime navigation.
The two sides also discussed the situation in Syria and Libya. 
Both countries affirmed their support for the efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and their keenness to preserve the unity and integrity of the Syrian and Libyan territories. They pledged to strengthen all that would guarantee both countries’ security and renewed adherence to stand firm against all policies aimed at undermining security and stability and stirring up religious and sectarian strife.

The plenary session was held in the presence of both countries’ delegations, where they reviewed bilateral relations, opportunities for cooperation, and regional developments.
Then, Saudi Minister of Information, Dr. Awad Al-Awad, announced a new initiative to establish the King Salman Hospital, a 300-bed hospital in Nouakchott, under the directivces of the Saudi leadership..
The hospital includes emergency departments, ambulances, outpatient clinics, surgeries, oncology center, cardiology center, dialysis department, obstetrics and gynecology department, pediatric department, laparoscopy department, laboratory section, intensive care department, diagnostic radiology department, central pharmacy, central sterilization and hypnosis suites.
King Salman also issued a directive to renovate King Faisal Mosque.
During the meeting the crown prince oversaw the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation between both countries.
The first agreement concerned the avoidance of double taxation, the second was a MoU for cooperation in the field of water and sanitation, while the third MoU was related to wildlife protection.

The agreements were signed by the Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, on behalf of the Saudi side, and the Minister of Economy and Finance Al-Mukhtar Ajay, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Eslam Ould Sidi El-Mokhtar and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Amdi Kamra, on behalf of the Mauritanian side, respectively.
“The visit comes within the framework of the brotherly ties between the two countries and the historical ties between their two brotherly peoples, which was reflected their joint determination to deepen and strengthen cooperation in all fields,” said a joint statement issued by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and his Mauritanian counterpart, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
On behlaf of King Salman, the crown prince extended an invitation to Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to visit the Kingdom. The republic accepted the invite and the date of the visit will be announced soon.
The crown prince’s visit to the north African country comes after he headed Saudi Arabia’s delegation at the G20 Summit in Argentina.
Mohammed bin Salman’s tour has included stops in the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia before the summit in Buenos Aires. 


Russia’s Putin lauds good relations with Saudi Arabia, condemns Aramco attacks

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 October 2019

Russia’s Putin lauds good relations with Saudi Arabia, condemns Aramco attacks

  • Moscow could play a key role in easing regional tensions given its good ties with Gulf states and Iran
  • The Russian president made his only trip to Riyadh way back in 2007

RIYADH: Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia and condemned the recent attacks on state-owned Aramco oil facilities.
Putin said such attacks only strengthened cooperation between oil producers inside and outside OPEC, an alliance known as OPEC+, and that Russia would work with its partners to reduce attempts to destabilize markets.
As President Donald Trump reinstated US sanctions, increasing pressure on Iran’s economy, there have been a series of attacks in Saudi Arabia and in Gulf waters that Washington and close allies have blamed on Iran, which denies responsibility.
Putin told Arab broadcasters in an interview aired on Sunday ahead of his visit to the Kingdom in more than a decade, that he has “very good relations” with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Russian president is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Monday and then heads to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
Putin said that there has been a 38 percent growth in economic cooperation between the Kingdom and Russia.
Russia’s Direct Investment Fund and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund have created a base of $10 billion, with $2 billion in investments, he added.
Russian petrochemicals company Sibur Holding is looking to build a petrochemical complex worth more than $1 billion in investments, Putin also said.
Syrian Conflict
On Syria, where Russia and Iran have been key allies of President Bashar Assad in an 8-1/2-year civil war, the Russian president said they would not have been able to reach a positive outcome without Saudi cooperation.
“I would like to emphasize the positive role Saudi Arabia has played in resolving the Syrian crisis … without Saudi Arabia’s contribution toward a Syrian settlement, it would have been impossible to achieve a positive trend,” he said, thanking King Salman and Mohammed bin Salman for their “constructive approach.”
He said Moscow supports the Assad regime in Syria, not because they have no blame in the situation but to prevent terrorist organizations from infiltrating the war-torn country.
“We are working with Turkey and Iran to resolve the Syrian conflict, but without Saudi it would not be possible to come to a good solution,” he said.
A congress convened by Russia last year tasked the United Nations envoy for Syria with forming a committee to draft a new constitution, after many rounds of talks to end the war failed.
UN officials say forming a constitutional committee is key to political reforms and new elections meant to unify Syria and end a war which has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced about half of the pre-war 22 million population.
Turkey launched an assault last week against Kurdish forces in border areas of northern Syria, saying it seeks to set up a “safe zone” to resettle Syrian refugees but raising international alarm over the possibility of Daesh militants escaping from prisons.
Iran Deal
Asked if Moscow supported new a return to negotiations with Iran to limit its missile program as Trump has called for enforcing the nuclear deal first, Putin said the two issues should be dealt with separately.
“Most likely it (the missiles) can and should be discussed ... The missile program is one thing and the nuclear program is another thing,” he said. “Of course, this is necessary, but there is no need to merge one with the other...”
OPEC+
The Russian president said OPEC+ was an initiative introduced by the crown prince to increase their cooperation in oil sector, and that he was the one who suggested to expand military collaboration between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia was not just a regional energy player but also a global one, and “we care about our cooperation,” Putin said.
The Russian leader added that anything that threatens energy trade stability must be stopped, and “we should work together” to stop it.
Aramco Attacks
Putin also condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, noting “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.
“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” said Putin.
He insisted Russia’s intelligence community does not know who perpetrated the Aramco attacks, but he also said that his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, has denied Tehran’s complicity in the attacks. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Riyadh and Washington blamed Tehran.
However, Putin said: “It is wrong to determine who is guilty before it is known reliably and clearly who is behind this act,” Putin said, adding that he had agreed to help investigate the attack.
“If someone may have wanted to deal a blow to the oil market, they failed. There were indeed some fluctuations in prices, but I do not think it was anything too serious, even though the initial response was quite strong.
“We need to respond to any attempt to destabilize the market. Russia will certainly continue working with Saudi Arabia and other partners and friends in the Arab world to counter any attempts to wreak havoc in the market,” he said in an interview with Al Arabiya.
Putin believes Russia can play a positive role in resolving regional disagreements, because of Moscow’s positive relations with the Arab world, Iranians, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.