Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz left Paris today after a four-day official visit to France, during which he met with France's President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, and Defense Minister Alain Richard. He also met with a number of officials from private sector companies. A joint communiqué was issued at the end of the visit.
Prince Sultan's talks yesterday with French Prime Minister Jospin covered the international situation, especially the Middle East peace process, as well as ways of enhancing bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and France. At a press conference after this meeting, Prince Sultan remarked that France has been working with the United Nations for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and reiterated Saudi Arabia's concern, not only for its own interests, but for those of the Arab and Muslim worlds. Noting that Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah has extended an invitation to the French Prime Minister to visit the Kingdom in the near future, he said that he would convey to the Crown Prince and to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz messages of friendship and appreciation from the President, the Prime Minister, and the people of France.
At a meeting in Paris yesterday evening with the editors-in-chief of Saudi newspapers, Prince Sultan underlined the important role of the media in enlightening local and international public opinion, and urged them to project not only the Kingdom's achievements in all spheres but its positive stance in promoting world peace and security in accordance with the tenets of Islam. He reminded them of Saudi Arabia's good reputation, its wise policy in tackling all problems, and its concern for Arab solidarity, and assured them his talks with officials in both France and the United States were held in an atmosphere of understanding and a spirit of cooperation.