Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed recently during a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, bilateral relations and opportunities to enhance joint cooperation between the two countries.
During the call, they discussed regional and international developments and a number of issues of common concern.
Both sides reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation, in addition to the regional and international developments, and a number of issues of common interest.
There exists a very strong bond between Saudi Arabia and France, and Saudis normally associate France with beauty, fine culture, philosophy and great museums.
Full diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1926. The relationship is one of the world’s oldest and took a new, distinguished turn when the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz visited France in 1967 and met with the French President Charles de Gaulle. This visit took the bilateral relations to new levels of close cooperation in all spheres.
Subsequent visits by the leaders of both countries upgraded the relations into a full partnership. The custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman, visited France in 2014 when he was crown prince, and cemented the close coordination and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and France. The current Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has boosted the partnership through the many visits he has paid France in the last few years.
Saudi Arabia and France have signed many agreements in all fields. Thousands of Saudi students are studying at French universities. About 70 French medical residency positions are annually offered to Saudi physicians interested in obtaining specialization degrees. Recently, hundreds of them opted to remain in France and joined the frontline battle at French hospitals against the coronavirus disease, alongside their French colleagues.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 relies on the experience and technologies of friendly countries such as France to achieve its objectives. There are mega-projects of interest to both countries, and France is already contributing to these projects particularly in the field of tourism and hospitality.
In fact, Saudi Arabia worked closely with France in preserving historical and archaeological sites long before Vision 2030 was launched, and is still working closely together at AlUla and others.
Both countries are collaborating on many projects, whether bilaterally or within the framework of the G20. Although coordination and cooperation are ongoing, there is always space for improvement.