Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement to the media during a joint press point with Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir following talks between President Vladimir Putin and King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Moscow, October 5, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen,
The visit of the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is now in Moscow, has just come to an end. This is his first visit to the Russian Federation as Saudi monarch. His Majesty was here back in 2006, when he was Governor of Riyadh Province.
Today, talks were held between the President of the Russian Federation and the King of Saudi Arabia. My colleague, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adel Al-Jubeir, and I would like to inform you about the results of these talks.
It was a friendly and substantive conversation based on the mutual desire of Moscow and Riyadh to consistently expand mutually beneficial cooperation across all areas.
Our leaders discussed in detail the current state and ways to further expand as well as improve our interaction in trade, economic, investment, cultural, and humanitarian spheres.
They agreed to encourage inter-parliamentary cooperation in every possible way. We expect that a representative delegation from Saudi Arabia will participate in the forthcoming Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which will be held in St Petersburg this month.
President Putin and His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud actively supported the development of bilateral contacts involving Russia’s regions. Heads of Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, the Chechen Republic and Ingushetia took part in the talks. A number of intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, as well as major commercial contracts were signed.
The strong cooperation between the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, plus a number of other partners from Saudi Arabia, stands out in particular.
Among the promising industries on which agreements were reached today, I would like to mention, of course, the energy industry – and not only traditional but also nuclear energy – as well as cooperation in space exploration, the agro-industrial complex and infrastructure projects.
Our leaders actively supported the new initiative of businesses in both countries. Today, the Russian Federation is hosting the first investment forum that is attended by dozens of Russian and Saudi companies.
We are confident that the considerable package of documents signed today not only creates the necessary contractual and legal framework for further cooperation and its expansion, but also makes it possible to raise the Russian-Saudi partnership to a brand new level.
It is important that soon after the current summit, in late October - early November, Riyadh will host the fifth meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, on the sidelines of which another business forum will be held. It will be attended by a large group of Russian entrepreneurs.
The leaders of our countries welcomed the agreement to establish a commission on military and technical cooperation, which will hold its first meeting before the end of this year.
Our energy cooperation is not limited to bilateral projects. President Vladimir Putin and His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud supported the work of the both countries’ energy ministries in the OPEC+ format.
President Vladimir Putin and His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud had an extensive and trust-based discussion of the most important aspects of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, with special emphasis on Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, the Arabian Gulf and the Palestine-Israel settlement.
It is critically important that both President Putin and King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud see eye-to-eye on the need for mutually respectful dialogue among all the interested parties in order to resolve all these and other issues. They stressed the need for a speedy resolution of crises by peaceful political means on the basis of a broad-based national dialogue in each specific conflict in line with the UN Charter and the principles of international law.
In this context, King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud appreciated the efforts to reach a settlement in Syria within the Astana format. For its part, Russia supports the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to unite the Syrian opposition in order to consolidate its constructive platform for negotiations with the government on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
The discussion of all these regional problems once again demonstrated the shared understanding of the priority of waging a resolute war against terror. This is the aim of the initiatives the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are promoting at the UN and in the international arena in general. Of course, it is clear that fighting terror implies resolute opposition to extremist ideology. We have briefed our Saudi colleagues on the corresponding approaches currently being considered at the UN Security Council.
We expect that the Russia-Islamic World Strategic Vision Group created by the Russian Federation and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will continue to contribute to these efforts.
We are actively expanding humanitarian ties, and we are grateful to the Kingdom for its traditional attention given to pilgrims from Russia who visit Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season.
A programme of cultural exchanges has been agreed upon, with the Mariinsky Theatre orchestra, the Bolshoi Theatre, and other performing groups visiting Saudi Arabia in the near future.
More broadly, President Vladimir Putin and King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdelaziz Al Saud instructed all the departments represented at the talks (the two governments were represented almost in full) to work purposefully in order to implement all the agreements reached today at the top level.