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ECOWAS and Saudi Arabia meet to improve ties and strengthen cooperation

Abuja, June 14, 2022 – The Royal Court Advisor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Mr. Ahmadu Bin Abdul-Aziz Kattan has visited the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria to strengthen ties with the regional bloc. He was warmly received by the ECOWAS President, H. E Jean Claude Kassi Brou who expressed delight and honour to receive His Excellency and other distinguished Saudi Arabian officials to deliver a speech on the Kingdom’s policy towards African countries.

In his welcome remarks, President Kassi Brou expressed his personal appreciation to his Royal Highness the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the visit which is geared towards fostering cooperation with ECOWAS. He took the visitors down memory lane on the history and achievements of ECOWAS since its creation in 1975. He stated that “these achievements could not have been achieved without strategic cooperation and alliances forged by ECOWAS and its international partners.” He added that ECOWAS welcomes the Kingdom’s diplomatic efforts on the continent and the important role it plays in the area of peace building as well as its call to strengthen international and regional cooperation with security agencies in Africa and to address the root causes of terrorism especially through the exchange of information, expertise and training. In calling for the Kingdom to play a more active role in regional integration, President Brou requested assistance from Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and Islamic Development Bank. He expressed the willingness of the bloc to support Saudi Investors in the development of critical sectors of the region.

The Royal Court Advisor, H.E Mr. Ahmadu Bin Abdul-Aziz Kattan, in his speech,  conveyed the warmest greetings of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who mandated him to discuss the Kingdom’s interest in communicating and cooperating with ECOWAS with a view to serve mutual interests.

He informed the President that the Kingdom submitted a request to host the World EXPO 2030 in Riyadh and solicited the open support of ECOWAS in making it a reality. While explaining the various reasons why the Kingdom is in good stead to host the event, he itemized various economic, financial and structural reforms being undertaken to reduce oil dependency, promote economic diversity and develop public infrastructure. He stated several interventions of the Kingdom in promoting economic development and combating health crises particularly during the COVID pandemic.

He added that “the clearest example of the Kingdom’s interest in the countries of the African continent is that it has pledged to provide $1 Billion as a package of development investment projects during the Paris Conference 2021. This gives us a positive impression of a promising future, and we will work with you as an ally, friend and partners in strengthening the capabilities of the African economy away from attractive slogans that will not serve the average African citizen.” He mentioned four pillars of cooperation with Africa as economic, political, security and environmental.  In concluding his speech, the Royal Adviser urged ECOWAS to declare its support for the candidacy of Saudi Arabia to host World EXPO 2030 as well as the First Saudi-African and Fifth Arab-African Summits.

The President of the Commission assured his special guest that the request will be conveyed to the Chair of the ECOWAS Authority for decision.

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