NATO Secretary General holds talks with Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, welcomes closer ties with Saudi Arabia
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with the Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, during a visit to Riyadh on Wednesday (13 December 2023), welcoming the development of closer ties between NATO and the Kingdom.
In a phone call, the Secretary General thanked His Royal Highness for Saudi Arabia’s hospitality during this historic visit – the first ever by a sitting Secretary General of NATO. He underlined Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the Arab and Muslim world, and said he looked forward to the possibility of developing dialogue and cooperation in areas like maritime security and freedom of navigation, the protection of critical infrastructure, and the fight against terrorism. His Royal Highness accepted an invitation from Mr Stoltenberg to visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels in early 2024.
While in Saudi Arabia, Mr Stoltenberg also met with Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed A. Elkhereiji and the Chairman of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Air Chief Marshal Fayyadh al-Ruwaili, and held talks with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jasem Mohamed AlBudaiwi. He engaged in a public discussion at the Saudi Armed Forces and Staff College; visited the headquarters of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) to meet with Chief Executive Officer Walid Abukhaled; and exchanged views with a group of policy makers, think tank experts and media in a meeting hosted by Dr Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman of the Gulf Research Centre.