Saudi Arabia/joint declaration/bilateral relations
FRANCE/SAUDI ARABIA/BILATERAL RELATIONS
Given the ties of friendship and close cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the French Republic, and in response to the invitation by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, French President François Hollande is paying an official visit to Saudi Arabia on 4 and 5 May 2015. The President is also the guest of honour at the informal summit of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, to be held on 5 May 2015 and devoted to examining the regional and international situation. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques met President François Hollande on the occasion of this visit. The two heads of state held official meetings marked by warmth and the spirit of friendship linking our two countries. They also reviewed the prospects for bilateral cooperation and ways of strengthening the special relations between the two countries in every field, in the interests of their two friendly peoples.
The two parties discussed regional and international issues and welcomed their broad agreement on the crises threatening regional stability and international security and peace. France reaffirmed its commitment to the kingdom’s security, sovereignty and stability. (…)
The two parties welcomed their excellent strategic partnership and signalled their desire to strengthen it. The two countries welcomed their profound bilateral relations in the area of military and defence cooperation, as demonstrated by the signing of bilateral agreements and contracts with French companies. The defence ministers will work to consolidate this relationship by modernizing the military cooperation and assistance agreement, with the aim of deepening our cooperation and broadening it to other fields. The two countries also expressed their wish to strengthen their partnership on operational cooperation and defence procurement, particularly in the naval field. They agreed to continue their fruitful cooperation in the other military spheres, so as to make both parties’ expectations a reality.
The two countries confirmed the importance of further strengthening and developing the Franco-Saudi economic partnership in the areas of finance, the economy and trade, particularly through an increase in mutually beneficial strategic investment in all fields, particularly transport, energy, health, civil aviation and the satellite industry, according to the procedures and timeframe agreed by the two parties.
In the framework of the efforts being made to encourage a lower-carbon economy, France pledged to contribute to the Saudi energy-diversification programme, particularly in the field of clean energy. The two countries expressed their intention to develop a lasting industrial partnership in the energy field, particularly the nuclear sector, drawing on the civilian nuclear energy cooperation agreement reached between the two countries in 2013. They agreed to help create a solar energy industry in Saudi Arabia.
In the health field, the two countries signalled their determination to develop new projects, particularly in the area of patient care, training and research, including in the areas of oncology, non-invasive surgery, epidemiology, genetics and pharmacology.
The two parties welcomed the work of the joint Franco-Saudi economic cooperation committee, aimed at strengthening and developing cooperation in areas identified by both parties. The committee’s last meeting was held in Paris in October 2014. It was proposed that the next session take place in Riyadh in the last three months of this year. They also welcomed the efforts made at the Saudi-French Business Forum, which strengthens relations between businesspeople from both countries in the areas of trade, the economy and investment.
There was agreement to create a mechanism for investment in French businesses, allowing Saudi finance to be invested in more diverse areas. This mechanism will, inter alia, increase links between the two countries’ businesses and facilitate investment in sustainable energy technology, including the improvement of energy efficiency, the splitting and storage of carbon dioxide and the development of new and renewable energies, particularly in Africa, looking ahead to the COP21.
A Joint Implementation Committee, under the chairmanship of HRH Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud, Deputy Crown Prince, Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and M. Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, bringing together all the parties concerned in the two countries, will meet periodically to supervise all this work.
M. François Hollande, the French President, expressed his thanks to and esteem for King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the Saudi government, for the warm welcome he was given and the hospitality shown to him and his delegation during this visit. President Hollande has sent the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques an official invitation to pay a visit to France./.