Emir of Qatar, Second Deputy Premier Prince Naif discuss in Doha issues of common interest

Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council concludes activities in Doha

Council meeting’s final communiqué stresses both countries’ keenness on furthering cooperation in all fields

Prince Naif: Challenges facing region requires international community to reconsider its ways

Saudi Arabia, Qatar sign six agreements, memorandums of understanding

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani received this week Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, who head the Kingdom's delegation to the 2nd Meeting of the Saudi-Qatari Joint Coordinating Council which was held in Doha.

During the meeting, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz conveyed the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the Qatari Emir.

They also discussed issues of common interest between the two countries.

Following the meeting, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz attended a luncheon held in his honor by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

The Qatari officials attending the meeting and luncheon were Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Heir Apparent and Head of Qatar's delegation to the 2nd Meeting of the Saudi-Qatari Joint Coordinating; Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Minister of State for Internal Affairs and Member of the Cabinet.

The Saudi officials attending the meeting and luncheon were Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh; Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; Minister of Agriculture Dr. Fahd bin Abdulrahman Balghunaim; Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah bin Ahmed Zainal; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja; Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani; and a number of officials.

Saudi-Qatari Joint Coordinating Council concluded its second two-day meeting under the co-chairmanship of Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatari Heir Apparent.

Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz deputized Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, as Chairman of the Saudi side to the Council. The first meeting of the Council was held in Saudi Arabia.

A joint communiquéأ© has been issued at the end of the meetings.

The two sides approved the agenda of second session of the council and reviewed regional developments and world issues of mutual interests. They agreed to intensify co-ordination, consultation and mutual action to achieve interests of their two nations and help bring about regional security and stability.

Saudi and Qatari sides welcomed exchanging ratification documents of constituting minutes of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council signed in Jeddah.

The two sides agreed to study drafting a memorandum of understanding to establish a mutual investment fund, and to submit its findings to the common preparatory committee within the Council.

They expressed comfort at bilateral trade exchange level as it reached SR 6687 million in 2008, while it was at SR 2018 million in 2003. They also welcomed signing and exchanging ratification documents of memo of understanding to co-operate between Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry and Qatari Ministry of Business and Trade which was initially signed in Riyadh in 2008.

At the end of his visit to Qatar, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz expressed gratitude to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatari Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is also co-chairman of the Saudi-Qatari Council and Qatari Premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to the Saudi delegation.

Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz conveyed the invitation of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General and Saudi Co-Chairman of the Council, to the Heir Apparent of Qatar, Qatari Premier and Qatari members of the Council to take part in the third session of the council set to be held in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Qatari Joint Coordinating Council had held its second meeting in Doha with Prince Naif leading Saudi Arabia's side and Sheikh Tamim Qatar’s side.

At the outset of the meeting, Sheikh Tamim welcomed Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz in his second home and among his people.

He said this meeting enjoys the interest of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to continue more progress of cordial and firm relations between the two countries and peoples.

He considered this meeting as an important step on the way to consolidated cooperation between the two countries, noting that it would yield positive results that would contribute to enhancing cooperation in all fields in a way that serves both peoples.

In a key address, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz thanked Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his sincere cordial feelings and conveyed to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and their wishes of the Qatari Emir's continuous health and happiness and his people steady progress and prosperity.

He expressed thanks to and appreciation of the Qatari leadership for the warm welcome, the generous hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation and the excellent organization of the meeting.

Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz said this meeting comes as further enhancement for the Gulf Cooperation Council march and reflects the great keenness of the leaderships of the two countries for bilateral relations in all fields in a way that achieves the interests of the two countries and peoples.

He expressed confidence that this relations framework for the two countries would add strong blocks to the march of the deep-rooted ties binding the two countries which enjoys the noble care of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Crown Prince and their brother Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and his Crown Prince.

The challenges facing our region are set to oblige the world community to reconsider the ways of coping and dealing with them. The political and security coordination and the joint action concluded by our two countries within this Council for how to deal with these challenges would have an effective impact on the confrontation of these problems in a way that enhances the interests of both countries on one hand the rest of the GCC member countries as well as the Arab and Islamic nations on the other, he said.

On bilateral relations, the fruitful cooperation between our two countries in all fields was reflected in the minutes of the first session of the Council which was held in Riyadh last year as a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed by the two countries, he said, adding that, signing of a new host of agreements and MOUs further confirms the determination of the leaderships of the two countries to consolidate bilateral relations at all levels.

We are sure that the next meeting would witness conclusion of new agreements that would have great influence on opening new horizons for cooperation that would achieve the interests of the two countries and peoples, he said.

Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz lauded the results of the recent visit to Saudi Arabia by Qatari businessmen and their meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Crown Prince.

He attributed the distinguished achievements reached by the Saudi Qatari Coordination Council in a number of fields to the support, instructions and patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, as well as the support of the two sides' chairmen, wishing the second session of the Council every success.

Following the meeting, six agreements and a number of MOUs were signed between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar. Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, signed the minutes of exchanging the constitutional documents of the Council, signed in Saudi Arabia on 2/7/1429H. and later signed an agreement between the two countries on diplomatic and consular cooperation.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani also signed a MOU on political consultation and coordination between the two countries foreign ministries.

Another MOU on cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Kingdom and the Ministry of Business and Trade of Qatar was also signed.

Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information of the Kingdom, and Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage of Qatar, signed a MOU on cultural and information exchange between the two countries.

Similar agreements and MOUs between the two countries were signed by senior officials in the fields of industrial cooperation, Islamic affairs and endowments, health, agriculture, and commerce.

Prince Naif, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Saudi side in Joint Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar's Crown Prince, who is Chairman of the Qatari side in the Council, have stressed that the Council came in implementation of the decision of the leaders of the two brotherly countries to organize the historical relations between the two countries in all fields.

In a joint press conference after the end of the second meeting of the Council in Doha on Monday evening, Prince Naif said that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been historical, noting that the leaders of the two countries decided to establish Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council to organize relations in all fields. 'This is what has been achieved in the last meeting in 1429H.

We are delighted over the achievement of the aspirations of the two leaderships for the interest of the two brotherly countries.'

In response to a question about the statement of the U.S. Secretary of State on the Iranian nuclear program, Prince Naif said, 'The Kingdom's position is the position of all countries of The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); and this position was clarified in the summit held in Kuwait last year. The Kingdom's position is the position of all GCC and Arab countries as the Arab League had issued.'

Asked about the visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Yemen's President after the deterrence of infiltrators on the borders of the Kingdom, Prince Naif said, 'The visit of the Yemeni President to his brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is a normal one. They always hold such meetings. The events that occurred in the past few months shall be under discussion. We hope that the agreement between the Yemeni government led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis group be concluded and signed the six items that were announced, which unfortunately have not been completed, and the fighting between Yemeni forces and Houthis has continued. This is a Yemeni internal affair.'

Prince Naif added, 'As regards attacks on Saudi territories, it is sufficient the saying of the King that (We do not attack one inch of a territory of any brotherly neighboring country, but we do not accept that one inch of Saudi territory to be attacked, so either victory or martyrdom), and praise be to Allah, victory has been achieved.'

Prince Naif noted that Sheikh Tamim accepted the invitation of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, who is also Chairman of the Saudi side in Joint Saudi-Qatari Coordinating Council, to hold the next meeting of the Council in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, noting that remaining agreements will be completed at the next meeting, and annual meetings will be held in rotation between the two countries, in addition to continued coordination and works among the committees in all areas of common interest.

On his part, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said that the Council has been proceeding ahead as planned by the two countries since the first meeting held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressing the keenness of the leaders of the two countries to implement the decisions.

In reply to a question on his recent visit to Iran, Sheikh Tamim said that the visit was scheduled previously at the invitation of the Iranian government, adding that it was a visit for coordination and discussion between the two countries on the stability in the region.