Singapore, Saudi Arabia reaffirm ties during minister’s visit

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SINGAPORE – The longstanding relations between Singapore and Saudi Arabia were reaffirmed on Thursday (Jan 13) during an official visit by the Kingdom’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal Farhan Al Saud.

The Prince made the visit at the invitation of Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and called separately on President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

During their meeting, President Halimah congratulated Saudi Arabia for its successful management of the haj pilgrimage and reiterated Singapore’s request for an increased haj quota when it is resumed for Singaporean pilgrims.

She also said she welcomed the inaugural Saudi-Singapore Joint Committee (SSJC) meeting held in Riyadh last month.

PM Lee and Prince Faisal acknowledged the stepping-up of bilateral engagement, including through the SSJC, which provides a useful platform to strengthen economic cooperation in support of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. PM Lee also agreed that there was scope for companies from both countries to explore further opportunities.

Prince Faisal also met Dr Balakrishnan and Dr Maliki Osman, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Education.

They exchanged views on regional developments in the Middle East and Asia, and agreed there was scope to deepen bilateral cooperation.

Separately, Prince Faisal met Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli, who is also Second Minister for Health and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

Mr Masagos noted that ties remain good and expressed appreciation for support given to Singaporean students in Saudi Arabia.

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