JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and Georgia have said they are keen to enhance cooperation as the two sides discussed priority areas in bilateral relations during the high-level visit to the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to Riyadh’s Al-Yamamah Palace on Wednesday.
The two countries issued a joint statement on Thursday at the conclusion of the visit.
The sides stressed the distinguished ties between the two countries, and a willingness to further the countries’ close relations.
Garibashvili expressed his country’s support for Saudi Arabia in its bid to host the Expo 2030, and reiterated his confidence in the Kingdom’s ability to hold a successful edition of the global fair, a stance appreciated by the crown prince, according to the joint statement published by the Saudi Press Agency.
The two sides agreed on a number of economic, trade, and investment issues, and ways to further improve cooperation, while stressing the importance of enhancing relations by diversifying intra-trade, raising the level of mutual and joint investments, and seizing the integration and investment opportunities that Saudi Vision 2030 provides.
The countries agreed to form a joint Saudi-Georgian business council to further boost cooperation.
The meeting also focused on the development priorities in Georgia in various fields such as renewable energy, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and other vital sectors.
The joint statement said that the two sides discussed the key role that the private sector can play in enhancing economic cooperation, and the parties agreed to create the appropriate investment conditions for the sector.
The two sides also agreed to intensify mutual visits, holding investment and business forums periodically.
Grateful to HRH Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince & PM of for the warm welcome & productive talks in the frames of my visit to. Discussed current regional & global challenges & the possibility of expanding - partnership in areas of our common interest. pic.twitter.com/74C1Pb4lDI
— Irakli Garibashvili (@GharibashviliGe) December 22, 2022
They also agreed on encouraging entrepreneurs to take advantage of the available investment opportunities to forge tangible partnerships.
The countries stressed the importance of having stable global oil markets, and Georgia commended the Kingdom’s role in supporting stability.
Saudi Arabia and Georgia also expressed their desire to discuss ways to consolidate cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, electrical interconnection, innovative uses of hydrocarbon resources, and energy efficiency.
The Georgian delegation expressed enthusiasm for both the Saudi and the Middle East Green Initiative, and its support for the Kingdom’s climate change efforts by applying the circular carbon economy approach.
The two sides took the opportunity to stress the importance of the principles of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Accords, and the need to implement such agreements.
While keen to enhance their cooperation in both industrial and mining sectors, the countries also agreed to work together in fields such as transport, communication and IT, healthcare, education, scientific research, and security.
Both the Saudi and Georgian sides reiterated their support for the UN in its attempts to reach a political solution in Yemen.
Garibashvili praised the Kingdom’s humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people and its initiatives to end the war and encourage dialogue between the warring parties, in accordance with the Gulf Initiative, the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, and the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2216, issued in 2015.
The two countries also called for dialogue and diplomacy to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with Garibashvili praising Saudi Arabia’s recent $400 million donation to Ukraine and its mediation efforts in the latest prisoner swap.
The two sides also explored increasing the number of flights between the countries to boost tourism in both regions.