The bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the French Republic are characterized by development and growth in various political, economic, cultural and defense fields, in addition to their convergened views and visions on many common issues.
Over the past six decades, the historical cultural relations between the two countries have witnessed continuous cooperation in various fields, as the two countries seek to enhance cooperation in these fields, especially the development of museums, the film industry and heritage.
There is cooperation for the sustainable development of the AlUla region, through which France contributes to supporting the cultural and tourism development of this fully potential area
The policy of the two friendly countries, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Excellency the President of Republic of the France Emmanuel Macron, aims to contribute to achieving security, stability and peace in the region and the world.
France is keen on its partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and considers it a "close ally" that plays a key role in maintaining regional security, peace and stability. Therefore, the French leadership is working to consult with the Kingdom's leadership regarding the current issues, crises and ways to address them.
The Kingdom is cooperating with France in efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, including its contribution of $100 million to support the G-5 Sahel force to counter terrorism
The views of the Saudi and French sides agree on many issues, including the importance of implementing political and economic reforms in Lebanon as an international demand to achieve security, stability and prosperity for Lebanon away from foreign interference, in addition to the importance of exerting efforts to support security and stability in the Middle East and the need for joint action and strengthening communication and consultation regarding challenges that the region is witnessing.
The relations between the Kingdom and France began in 1926, when France sent a consul in charge of French affairs to Riyadh and established a diplomatic mission in Jeddah in 1932.
The Saudi-French relations entered a new and distinguished stage following late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz’s visit to France in 1967 and his meeting with former President of France Charles de Gaulle, as the visit represented support and development to include broader areas in order to achieve the common interests of the two countries and their friendly peoples.
The history of relations between the two countries witnessed the exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries and their senior officials, which contributed to documenting and developing relations and coordinating efforts for the common interests of the region and the two friendly peoples.
In 1986, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, when he was governor of Riyadh and French President Jacques Chirac, inaugurated the Kingdom’s "Exhibition between Yesterday and Today" in Paris, through which visitors learned about the Kingdom’s past, traditions, religious and cultural values, modern growth and giant achievements.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had paid a visit to the Republic of France in 1997, signed with the Mayor of Paris Jean Léary a charter of cooperation and friendship between the cities of Riyadh and Paris.
In continuation and strengthening of these distinguished relations being witnessed by the two friendly countries, the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense to France in 2018 came to consolidate these relations and push them forward, in line with joint programs and development projects in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and in the areas of existing investment partnership and diversification of the economic base.
The visit of HRH Crown Prince to France in 2018 also witnessed the signing of 19 protocols of agreement between French and Saudi companies, with a total value of more than $18 billion, which included industrial sectors such as petrochemicals and water treatment, in addition to tourism, culture, health and agriculture.
On the other hand, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense received in December 2021 the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, where they held a session of official talks during which they reviewed the historical and strategic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic, of France as they stressed the importance of strengthening joint action and pushing the bilateral relations to more close and constructive cooperation based on trust and common interests.
On the sidelines of the visit, the two countries signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding in the fields of (culture, tourism, digital technology, and space), in addition to an agreement to establish the French Cultural Center (Villa Al-Hajar) in AlUla governorate and to establish a facility for the production of aircraft structures (military industries), and maintenance of airframes and aircraft engines.