South African President Cyril Ramaphosa left Jeddah Sunday after a fruitful meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, prime minister, at the Royal Court at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. An official reception ceremony was held for the South African president.
The Crown Prince and the president of South Africa held a session of official talks, during which the bilateral relations between the two countries and aspects of cooperation in various fields were reviewed, in addition to discussing a number of issues of common interest.
Ramaphosa was seen off at King Abdulaziz International Airport by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, governor of Makkah Region; Minister of Tourism Ahmed Bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb and a number of officials.
A joint statement was issued at the conclusion of South Africa president's official visit to Saudi Arabia.
President Ramaphosa visited the Kingdom at a generous invitation by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and sought to enhance bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman received the president at the Royal Court here, where the two sides held a session of official discussions that reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries.
They stressed the importance of enhancing joint action and pushing bilateral relations to more close cooperation based on trust and joint interests in a way that can take bilateral relations between the two countries to new and promising aspects.
The two sides commended the positive and fruitful results achieved since Ramaphosa's visit to the Kingdom on July 11, 2018, which contributed to the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
The two sides also discussed areas of economic and commercial cooperation, emphasizing the importance of strengthening the economic partnership between them and taking them to higher levels.
They also stressed their determination to enable the partnership between the private sectors of the two countries and encourage mutual investments, including cooperation in the industrial and mining sectors, promote trade exchange and ensure that any challenges to the development of economic relations between the two countries are addressed.
The two sides praised the efforts of the joint Saudi-South African Committee and the executive authorities' efforts to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in many economic fields, in a bid to achieve their goals and aspirations in accordance with the vision of the leaderships of the two friendly countries.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the development of investment and economic relations between the two countries, stressing the importance of exerting further efforts to boost these relations to reach a level that accords with the volume of the two countries' economies by aligning the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 and South Africa's National Development Plan 2030.
They two side stressed the need to explore investment sectors and opportunities in areas of common interest, mainly renewable energy, industry, mining, tourism, logistics and agriculture; enabling and encouraging the private sector and investors on both sides to make joint and mutual investments; increasing investment delegations and events; and exchanging expertise in the fields of improving and developing the investment environment.
The two sides also praised the outcomes of the Saudi-South African Investment Forum and the roundtable meeting that saw the attendance of the South African president and several government officials and leaders of Saudi and South African companies.
The two sides welcomed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding with an estimated value exceeding $15 billion, and urged relevant authorities in the two countries to activate the agreements and memorandums of understanding signed between the two sides and to utilize opportunities with joint objectives.
In the energy sector, the two countries agreed to explore areas of joint cooperation in a number of energy fields, including petroleum and petrochemicals, energy efficiency, and fields of electricity and renewable energy such as solar, wind and atomic energy.
The two countries agreed as well to develop projects relying on these sources, enhancing cooperation in the field of hydrogen, innovation and clean technologies to manage hydrocarbon emissions, working to localize energy sector products and relevant supply chains, and developing projects concerned with these areas.
As for climate change, both sides stressed the importance of adhering to the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and affiliated Paris Convention, while giving equal priority to all core issues under the UNFCCC and the Paris Convention, including adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation.
The two sides voiced hope for a successful outcome of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UNFCCC, scheduled to be held between Nov. 6 and 18, 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and expressed their support for Egypt as a host country and the coming President of COP.
The two sides also agreed that, by holding COP27 in Africa, it is important to make progress, mainly with regard to adaptation, dealing with loss and damage issues, and providing means of support for implementation, which were among the priorities of the African and other developing countries.
The South African side also welcomed Saudi Arabia's Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative.
At the educational level, the two sides welcomed the increased level of scientific and educational cooperation between the two countries, out of their belief that education is a basis for building and enhancing human capacity and a major driver for economic growth and sustainable development, agreeing to promote direct relations between the two countries' universities and scientific and educational institutions.
As for health, the two sides look forward to strengthening cooperation in the health sector through speeding up procedures of signing a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in health fields, expressing keenness to support global initiatives aimed to confront the COVID
-19 pandemic and any future health challenges and risks.
In the agricultural and environmental sector, the two sides welcomed the two countries' private sectors endeavors to get engaged in investment partnerships in various areas, including agriculture and food industries, and continued cooperation between the two countries in the fields of environment, agriculture and food security.
The South African side commended the two initiatives launched during Saudi Arabia's presidency of the G20 2020 of the Global Initiative to Reduce Land Degradation and Promote Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats, and the Global Coral Reef Research and Development Acceleration Platform.
In the area of transport, the two sides stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation in areas of maritime and air transport to serve mutual interests of the two countries.
Culturally, they stressed the importance of discussing cooperation aspects in the cultural field with seeking to develop partnerships between the two countries.
As for tourism, the two sides emphasized the importance of boosting tourism cooperation, developing tourism traffic between the two friendly countries and promoting joint action on sustainable tourism that benefits the tourism sector and its development.
In the defense field, they reiterated the importance of military cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including military industries.
As for security, they reaffirmed their interest in enhancing cooperation and coordination on issues of mutual interest, including combating crimes in all their forms, exchanging expertise and training, and seeking to strengthen such efforts in order to achieve security and stability in the two friendly countries.
Pertaining to counter-terrorism efforts, the two sides expressed relief over efforts made in combating terrorism and its financing, and with their joint efforts within the framework of the International Centre for Targeting the Financing of Terrorism.
The South African side appreciated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's contributions in this regard through its support to the military and security capabilities of the Sahel States (G5), as well as coordination with South Africa in the fight against terrorism in Mozambique.
Politically, the two sides reiterated their determination to enhance cooperation on all political issues, seek to formulate common positions that ensure their security and stability, and the importance of continued coordination and consultation regarding developments in all bilateral and multilateral forums, in a way that contributes to achieving security, stability, and prosperity in the two friendly countries, the region, the African continent, and the world.
The two sides praised the outcomes of the (first) meeting of the Political Consultation Committee held in Riyadh and are looking forward to holding the (second) meeting in South Africa.
The two sides also stressed the importance of dealing seriously and effectively with threats in the region in a way that contributes to achieving regional and international security and stability, affirming the principles of good neighborliness, respecting the UN resolutions and international legitimacy, and sparing the region from all destabilizing activities. Both sides emphasized the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
The South African side expressed its full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all the measures it takes to protect its national security, stressing its rejection of any attacks on the territory of Saudi Arabia.
The two sides reviewed regional and international issues of common interest, including those related to the Yemeni issue. The two sides stressed the importance of full support for international and regional efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis based on the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanisms, the outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue, and Security Council Resolution No. 2216 (2015).
The South African side praised the Kingdom's efforts and initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue between the Yemeni parties and ending the war in Yemen, and its role in providing humanitarian aid and facilitating its access to all regions of Yemen.
The two sides reiterated their full support for the Presidential Leadership Council of Yemen, hailed the UN efforts to enhance commitment to the current truce and stressed the importance of adhering to it, cooperating with the UN secretary-general's Special Envoy for Yemen, and dealing seriously with peace initiatives and efforts.
On the Palestinian issue, the two sides stressed their continued support for achieving peace in the Middle East, and the importance of reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict per the two-state solution, ensuring the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Both sides condemn any unilateral measures that lead to undermining the implementation of the two-state solution.
The two sides recalled what the UN has repeatedly declared that any unilateral decision that seeks to change the status of Jerusalem or alter the established principles, would undermine the peace process in the Middle East and would have long-term repercussions on the region.
Concerning Sudan, the two sides affirmed their continued support for the success of the transitional phase, in a way that contributes to preserving political and economic gains. They also stressed the importance of dialogue among the Sudanese parties, wishing Sudan and its people stability and prosperity.
On the Libyan issue, the two sides stressed the need to preserve Libya’s stability, unity, and territorial integrity, and stressed support for all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution (Libyan-Libyan), the need for the exit of foreign forces, mercenaries, and fighters, and the commitment of all parties to stop military actions to preserve security and stability of Libya and the assets of its people.
About the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the two sides expressed their hope that the two parties to the conflict would reach a peaceful solution that would contribute to alleviating tension and escalation, and initiating truce measures to ensure the return of security and stability and allow for political discussions leading to a political solution to the crisis.
The South African side praised the efforts of the Crown Prince in adopting humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and releasing many prisoners of war of different nationalities.
The two sides agreed to continue the exchange of support and coordination in the international organizations and forums. The South African side expressed its support for the candidacy of Riyadh to host the International Expo 2030, stressing its confidence in the Kingdom's ability to establish a distinguished version of this exhibition at the best levels of innovation, and to provide an unprecedented experience in the history of this global event.
The Kingdom stressed the important role played by South Africa in supporting security, stability, and economic development in Africa.
The South African side commended the Kingdom’s contributions to development in the African continent, and the Kingdom’s efforts during its presidency of the G20 Summit 2020, one of the most prominent outputs of which was the launch of the G-20 initiative to suspend debt service payments, which benefited 38 African countries.
The South African side commended the speech of the Crown Prince at the Summit on Financing African Economies held in Paris in May 2021, which emphasized the Kingdom’s stances in supporting the international and regional efforts in cooperation with the African Union to establish the pillars of security and stability in Africa and to combat terrorist organizations, and work to contribute to economic development and increase investments in the continent.
The South African side welcomed the holding of the Saudi-African and Arab-African summits in the Kingdom.
At the conclusion of the visit, South African President Ramaphosa expressed his deep appreciation and thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation. The Crown Prince wished the South African president health and happiness and the friendly South African people further progress and advancement.