MBS’ visit to France, mutual interest issues on agenda

MBS’ visit to France, mutual interest issues on agenda
MBS’ visit to France, mutual interest issues on agenda

The visit of His Royal Highness Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Mohammed bin Salman, to France, comes at an important time, where the world is groaning under the weight of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which has entered its sixth month without ending yet. The official visit that His Highness the Crown Prince is making today is his second to a European country after Greece, which he arrived on Tuesday evening, during which he concluded a number of agreements with Athens.

From Athens to Paris, where His Highness the Crown Prince arrives today, important files on the French-Saudi agenda were attended, most notably the regional and international developments and the efforts made towards them, facing common challenges, maintaining security and stability in the region and fighting terrorism. His Highness the Crown Prince is scheduled to discuss with the French President, major files, namely the Russian-Ukrainian war, the energy crisis, the Iranian nuclear file, and the situation in Yemen in light of the continued Iranian interference through smuggling weapons and ammunition and sending military experts to the Houthi militia.

The two sides will also discuss the presidential elections in Lebanon and the importance of implementing political and economic reforms as an international demand to achieve security, stability and prosperity away from external interference and the control of Iranian militias over the decision in the country, and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

According to sources, the meeting of the Crown Prince with the French President will address the steps to form a Saudi-French strategic partnership council, and the course of cooperation in the field of manufacturing ships and frigates in Saudi Arabia, in light of the memorandum of understanding between the state-owned Saudi Military Industries Company and the French “Naval” group signed between the two parties in February 2019.

Last December, the Saudi Military Industries Company announced the launch of a joint venture with the French company Vijac Aero and Saudi Dussur to build an airframe factory in the Kingdom. The visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to France in 2018 witnessed the signing of 19 protocols and agreements between French and Saudi companies with a total value of more than $18 billion, including industrial sectors such as petrochemicals and water treatment, in addition to tourism, culture, health and agriculture.

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