Al-Shanana Tower, located in Saudi Arabia’s Qassim region

Al-Shanana Tower, located in Saudi Arabia’s Qassim region
Al-Shanana Tower, located in Saudi Arabia’s Qassim region

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - BERLIN: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan met German Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas in Berlin on Friday.

During the meeting, bilateral relations between the two countries were discussed.

After the meeting, the two ministers held a joint press conference during which Prince Faisal described the relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany as historical and strong.

He stressed that there was close cooperation between the two countries in several fields, including economically and in terms of political consultation, and said he looked forward to intensifying this cooperation.

Prince Faisal condemned the twin shootings in the German city of Hanau on Thursday, emphasizing the Kingdom’s solidarity with Germany and the families of the victims, and expressing his grief over what happened.

He pointed out that his talks with his German counterpart were fruitful and constructive and focused on bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them, in addition to developments in the Middle East.

“There is general agreement in views regarding the necessity of promoting peaceful solutions to resolve disputes,” he said. “We also discussed the situation in Yemen, and I explained the recent negative developments, including the missile attacks on civilian cities by the Houthis and their continuous military escalation, which indicates they are not serious about seeking a political solution to this crisis.

“We therefore encourage all international actors to stress the importance of supporting the (Saudi-led) coalition and the legitimate Yemeni government’s efforts to find a political solution,” he added.

Prince Faisal commended the international community’s stance towards the actions of the Houthi militias, and condemnation for the rebels’ prevention of aid reaching parts of Yemen.

He said that he discussed with Maas the regional situation, in particular Iranian interventions in the Middle East, in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

He reviewed the Kingdom’s position on the importance of continuing pressure on Iran until it heads in a peaceful direction, and avoids intervening in the affairs of its neighbors.

Prince Faisal hailed the efforts of the German government at the Berlin Conference regarding the crisis in Libya, emphasizing the Kingdom’s supportive stance for efforts aimed at resolving the situation.

“As I explained to my German counterpart, we are greatly concerned about Turkey sending Syrian fighters to northern Libya because this contributes to the continuing instability in that country and fuels the conflict. We will continue to support all efforts that seek a peaceful solution … to end that suffering, he said.”

Maas welcomed Prince Faisal and said that the talks covered several topics, including the Kingdom's hosting of the G20 summit, highlighting the areas of development in the Kingdom.

He said: “The talks touched on the most prominent issues in the region. We are concerned about the violations by Iran through its nuclear program; therefore, we focus in particular on negotiations and dialogue. We have also activated the conflict resolution mechanism to focus on that we are not convinced of these violations and want to increase pressure on Iran.”

On the Yemeni issue, Maas demanded an end to the escalation and a return to dialogue and a political solution under the supervision of the UN.

He also discussed Berlin's efforts to solve the Libyan crisis, stressing the importance of the Kingdom's support for Germany's efforts in this regard and highlighting its vital role in dealing with crises in the region.

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