British Minister of Defence Geoffrey Hoon left Jeddah today after a two-day visit to the Kingdom, during which he was received by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and held talks with Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz.
In a press conference after the meeting, Prince Sultan reported that he had briefed Minister Hoon on his recent talks with U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and remarked that there was no need for any tripartite consultation since the United Kingdom and the United States of America each have separate relations with Saudi Arabia.
Prince Sultan described his talks with the British Defense Minister as constructive and fruitful, adding that they covered nothing new, but merely enhanced relations, especially concerning the Al-Yamamah Project, which, he said, is almost completed with regard to weapons and jet fighters. For the latter, talks are ongoing with U.S. companies and with the U.S. government. He added that the visit of the British Defense Minister in the same week as that of the U.S. Defense Secretary was purely coincidental.
Referring to the new system for foreign investment, Prince Sultan stated that it had been in preparation for two years, and reviewed by the Supreme Economic Council and the Shura Council before being presented to the Council of Ministers.