Riyadh- Jean-Marc Ayrault, French minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, will arrive Tuesday to Riyadh to hold talks with senior Saudi officials.
This will be the first visit by Ayrault to the Kingdom since he was appointed foreign minister early last year.
“During the visit, Ayrault will reaffirm the strategic partnership uniting France and Saudi Arabia, and will continue dialogue,” said a statement released by the French Foreign Ministry.
He “will have meetings with several of his Saudi interlocutors” including, “among others, King Salman and his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir,” the statement added.
Ayrault “will visit construction work on the Riyadh metro system, some of which is being carried out by the French company Alstom.”
Ayrault will also visit the Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to support and boost cooperation between KACST and two major French research institutions — the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French National Center for Space Research (CNES).
He will also visit the Misk Foundation.
Saudi Arabia and France have built a strong partnership, especially in the fields of defense, energy, health care, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, culture, education, sport, science and technology, information, environment, water and tourism.
With $15.3 billion of French foreign direct investment (FDI) in Saudi Arabia, France is the third-biggest investor in the Kingdom.
More than 80 French mega-companies and subsidiaries have a direct presence in Saudi Arabia.