Saudi, German Foreign Ministers hold joint press conference

January 9, 2010

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held a joint press conference today, following a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh. Prince Saud described the talks between the two sides as constructive and positive, especially in light of the common desire to expand bilateral relations in the economic, cultural, technical and medical fields.

Reporting that the main focus of the talks was the Mideast peace process, Prince Saud noted that Germany and the European Union recognize the illegality of Israel’s settlement policy. “Freezing settlements is a main commitment to the peace process and not a Palestinian condition to resume negotiations, as Israel is trying to promote,” he said. “We see the European position supporting Palestinian rights in Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as an important step in the context of dealing with legitimate Palestinian rights and focusing on the core issues of the conflict.”

Touching on other regional issues, Prince Saud said that the Kingdom hopes for intensified efforts to make the Middle East and Gulf region free of weapons of mass destruction, including Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Such efforts will provide peace and security for all states in the region, he added, leaving no justification for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Prince Saud welcomed the efforts of the G5+1 to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis “through dialogue and peaceful means” and affirmed the right of all states to use nuclear energy peacefully.

Turning to the situation in Yemen, Prince Saud highlighted the importance of supporting the legitimacy of the Yemeni government and making sure there is no interference in the country’s internal affairs by any party.

On Afghanistan, Prince Saud stressed the importance of employing civilian efforts alongside military efforts in order to build the state, its institutions and infrastructure and to address the humanitarian situation of the Afghan people. This, in turn, will support efforts to combat terrorism, he said.

Finally, Prince Saud noted that the Saudi and German delegations discussed the importance of combating terrorism and intensifying international cooperation, especially in the field of intelligence sharing.