Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz left Rio de Janeiro in Brazil yesterday and flew to Buenos Aires for a state visit to the Argentine Republic.
Crown Prince Abdullah held cordial talks with President of Argentina Dr. Fernando De La Rua, discussing the latest Arab and international developments as well as bilateral relations. Three agreements of cooperation were signed in their presence by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal and his Argentinean counterpart Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, covering science and technology, youth affairs, and sports.
At a dinner reception yesterday evening, President De La Rua recalled the visit to the Kingdom by former President Carlos Menem, and declared that that visit had strengthened the ties between the two countries. The current visit of Crown Prince Abdullah, he said, serves as a major attribute towards realizing greater cooperation in the future.
In his address on the occasion, the Crown Prince referred to the past fifty years of friendly diplomatic relations, saying: "The relations between the Argentine Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are based on common principles of mutual respect, non-interference in internal matters, adherence to righteousness, justice, and international legitimacy in solving differences and disputes." He went on to say that on that basis, he urged the Argentinean government "to contribute to achieving peace and stability in the Middle East by pressuring Israel to adhere to the UN resolutions and to the principles of peaceful approaches aimed at finding a comprehensive and just solution for Arab-Israeli conflict."
Crown Prince Abdullah continued: "We notice that Israel is taking advantage of the peace process to improve its relations with members of the international community, including Argentina, without adhering to the principles of this process, especially that of land for peace, and without fulfilling its commitments and pledges."
On his arrival in Buenes Aires yesterday, Crown Prince Abdullah opened the King Fahd Islamic Center, in whose mosque he then offered prayers. President De La Rua and former President Menem attended the ceremony.