Riyadh, Jeddah – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a summit at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, where they discussed bilateral relations and fields of cooperation between the two countries, as well as latest developments on the regional and international arenas.
Merkel arrived in Jeddah on Sunday, on a two-day official visit, heading a high-ranking economic delegation, which includes the state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and executive presidents of major German companies interested in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program.
German Ambassador to the Kingdom Dieter W. Haller told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi-German summit tackled the Syrian crisis, fighting terrorism and other issues of mutual interest.
The ambassador added that six memoranda of understanding were signed on the sidelines of the meeting, in the fields of security, defense, politics and economy.
Discussions also touched on preparations for the upcoming G20 Summit, which will be held in Hamburg in July.
King Salman and Merkel attended the signing ceremony of a number of MoUs and cooperation agreements.
A memorandum of understanding on the development of sustainable industries was co-signed by Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Faleh and Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser.
A draft common declaration of intent between the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the German Federal Police was co-signed by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior Ahmed Al-Salem and the German ambassador to the Kingdom.
Another draft common declaration of intent in the field of development cooperation between the Saudi Fund for Development and the German Federal Ministry of Cooperation, Economy and Development was co-signed by Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development Yousuf bin Ibrahim Al-Bassam and Haller.
Other agreements included an executive cooperation program in the field of technical and vocational training, a draft agreement for training students in German military installations between the Ministry of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as a memorandum of understanding on supporting and empowering Vision 2030 and National Transition Program with regards to the digital strategy and related technological solutions.
The German embassy in Saudi Arabia said that Merkel would hold talks with a number of Saudi businesswomen and activists in various fields to familiarize herself with social and economic developments in the Kingdom.
According to the German Federal Foreign Office website, the friendship treaty between the German Reich and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Najd and the affiliated territories formalized bilateral relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia as early as 1929.
Germany has maintained diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1954, it added.
Relations between the two countries are fostered by regular high-level visits in both directions.