S'pore, Saudi Arabia reaffirm ties during minister's visit here

The longstanding relations between Singapore and Saudi Arabia were reaffirmed on Thursday during an official visit by the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal Farhan Al Saud.

He made the visit at the invitation of Singapore's Foreign 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 her meeting with Prince Faisal, Madam Halimah congratulated Saudi Arabia on 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 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, the Prince met Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli. Mr Masagos, who is also Second Minister for Health and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, noted that ties remain good and expressed appreciation for support given to Singaporean students in Saudi Arabia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2022, with the headline S'pore, Saudi Arabia reaffirm ties during minister's visit here. Subscribe