1998 Public Statement

Joint Saudi-U.K. statement on Crown Prince's visit
Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom today issued a joint communiqué on the visit of Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, September 13-16, 1998.

"His Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, made an official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from September 13 to 16, 1998, in response to an invitation from Her Majesty's government.
"The Crown Prince was greeted on arrival at Heathrow Airport by HRH the Prince of Wales. On September 14, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth gave a luncheon in his honor at her palace of Balmoral. Talks with the British Prime Minister, the Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Defense Secretary, underlined the wide range of common interests between the two countries. The Crown Prince praised the Prime Minister's peace initiative in Northern Ireland and wished him success in this regard. The talks between the two sides provided an opportunity for a wide-ranging review of world affairs, including developments in the Gulf region. The Crown Prince also received leader of the conservative party the Rt. Hon. William Haig, MP, and leader of the liberal democratic party the Rt. Hon. Paddy Ashdown, MP.

"The two sides underlined the fundamental importance of the Middle East peace process for the future of the region. They both seek a comprehensive, just and durable peace founded on the relevant UN resolutions and in conformity with the Oslo obligations and the principle of land-for-peace. They called for the faithful implementation of all agreements and the avoidance of any unilateral action that might prejudice the negotiations on the final status, particularly in relation to Jerusalem. They welcomed and supported the recent U.S. initiative, and called for a resumption of negotiations on the Syrian-Israeli track, and the implementation of Security Council Resolution 425 in relation to Lebanon.
"During their discussion on Iraq, the two sides expressed their serious concern at the Iraqi government's decision to suspend cooperation with the UN special commission. They called upon the Iraqi government to comply with the recent UN resolution which calls for resumption of cooperation between UNSCOM and the Iraqi government, and agreed that the only way to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people lies in strict adherence to all Security Council resolutions. They expressed their sympathy with the Iraqi people and satisfaction with the UN Resolution 986 which addresses humanitarian needs, reaffirming their total commitment to Iraq's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
"There was full agreement to stand resolutely against terrorism in all its forms, wherever it occurs and whatever its motivation. They expressed the belief that the fight against terrorism should take the form of united action with an important role for the UN.
"The two sides agreed on the need to continue cooperation to enhance trade between the two countries and to encourage access to the British market. In view of the importance of investment and its role in strengthening the relationship between the two countries, it was agreed to work for bilateral agreements on promoting and protecting investments as well as an agreement on avoidance of double taxation, and encouraging a joint business council. They stressed the need to encourage technical cooperation and scientific research in the fields of water, agriculture, standards regulations, specifications and measurements.
"The British side expressed its support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's application to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and for according it appropriate flexibility and transitional periods taking account of the Kingdom's development stage.
"The two sides stressed the importance for the global economy of stability in the oil market, and the U.K. expressed its full appreciation of the balanced policy adopted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a secure and reliable source in international markets.
"They also urged early progress on achieving an agreement on free trade zones between the GCC member states and European Union countries.
"The Crown Prince and Prime Minister concluded by asking all ministers concerned to follow up the issues on which understanding had been reached."