Adviser at Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Kattan, said the Kingdom has a strong and well-established relationship with all African countries, including South Africa.
A Saudi delegation, led by Kattan, is currently visiting South Africa.
Earlier this month, Kattan met President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town.
Kattan conveyed the greetings and good wishes of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the government and people of South Africa and also wished the country well to achieve further advancement and prosperity.
Ramaphosa conveyed his appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as well as the Saudi Arabian government and its people.
The men discussed bilateral relations between their two countries and ways to support and develop them in all areas, as well as international events of common interest.
During a media briefing at the African Union Development Agency (Auda)-Nepad in Midrand on Friday, Kattan said Saudi Arabia affirmed it is interested in the relations with African countries through clear consistency.
“We seek to help African countries to achieve their aspirations in all fields. The Kingdom’s leadership is interested in the African continent as a continent of hope.”
“There are many areas that the Kingdom has contributed assistance and support to African countries such as education, health, transportation and hunger and poverty and recently the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kattan.
Kattan said that Saudi Arabia has proved to be friend to Africa in terms of its advocacy in the global forum at the G20, the suspension of debt repayments and real investment potential.
Nardos Bekele-Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Auda-Nepad, said the visit to the African Union’s premier development agency by the Saudi Arabian delegation translates to the strategic value given to the development of Africa by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“I wish to also comment through this platform the tremendous work undertaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of his majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and his royal highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
“Their leadership and vision has allowed major steps for the development of strategic foreign policies within the Gulf region and with the rest of the world. These resulted tangibly in the creation of the Saudi national vision 2030, bringing great hope as it will certainly position Saudi Arabia as a hub between Africa, Asia and Europe,” said Thomas.
Auda-Nepad also expressed its full support for Saudi Arabia’s request to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh, adding that the Kingdom is expected to deliver an exceptional edition of the event to the world.
On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, received a phone call from the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor.
During the call, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and prospects for cooperation, in addition to developments in the region, and a number of regional and international issues of common interests.