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Homesingapore worldSingapore, Saudi Arabia strengthen bilateral relations, elevate ties to 'strategic partnership'

Singapore, Saudi Arabia strengthen bilateral relations, elevate ties to 'strategic partnership'

SINGAPORE: Singapore and Saudi Arabia have elevated ties to a “strategic partnership” as part of efforts to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation, said the foreign affairs ministries of both countries in a joint statement on Saturday (Oct 21). 

This comes after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s meeting on Wednesday in Riyadh, where both leaders “reviewed the historical relations” between the two countries and “the means to deepen them in all areas”. 

As part of official visits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Mr Lee also attended the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on Friday while in Riyadh. 

The elevation of ties to strategic partnership will allow the deepening and expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation across all fields, said the two ministries. 

Both sides acknowledged the good progress made by the Saudi-Singapore Joint Committee (SSJC), which held its third session on Oct 17.

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“We agreed to elevate our excellent bilateral relations in areas such as trade and investment, green energy, digital economy, and public sector development,” wrote Mr Lee in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Also happy to see the continued exchange of study visits and the sharing of best practices.”

The joint statement said both countries stressed the importance of cooperating to enhance and diversify bilateral trade by tapping on and improving the Gulf Cooperation Council – Singapore Free Trade Agreement. 

“Singapore companies are interested in the opportunities under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030,” wrote Mr Lee, adding that he also encouraged Saudi companies to use Singapore as their gateway to Southeast Asia.

The two countries also discussed climate efforts, stressing the need to “develop and implement climate agreements by focusing on emissions rather than sources”, said MFA and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

In his Facebook post, Mr Lee thanked the crown prince for the Haj arrangements for Singapore pilgrims during the pandemic years and reiterated the country’s request for an increase in the official Haj quota. 

He also expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2034 World Cup

At the end of the visit, the crown prince “expressed his best wishes for health and happiness to Prime Minister Lee, and further progress and prosperity to the Singaporean people”, said the joint statement. 

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