By Rashid Hassan and Sharif Taha
A cross section of Saudi society including the Shoura Council, intellectuals, economists and Saudi diplomats welcomed the outcome of the Riyadh summits attended by US President Donald Trump and Arab and Muslim leaders.
At the outset of the 37th ordinary session on Monday, the Shoura Council said the outcome of the Saudi-US summit would bolster the existing strategic ties between the two countries.
“President Trump’s selection of Saudi Arabia to be his first foreign visit is a proof of the strong position occupied by the Kingdom worldwide, its importance to Muslims and the influential political weight enjoyed by King Salman at the regional and world levels,” a statement by the Shoura said.
The Shoura Council also appreciated the signing of the joint strategic vision between the Kingdom and the US, a matter that will transform relations from the strategic dimension to higher levels through the intensified consultations and cooperation in addition to its economic dimension to boost Vision 2030.
The council also lauded the convening of the GCC consultative meeting, which stressed the solidarity of the GCC countries for their security and well being of their citizens and the Riyadh Declaration at the end of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit.
The Riyadh Declaration forged a unified stance to fight terrorism and stamp out the Iranian threats and other terrorist groups, it said.
The council appreciated the participation of Muslim countries and the launching of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh to promote moderation and counter extremism.
Commending President Trump’s historic visit, Mohamed Alkhunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News, “We are really glad that President Trump came to Saudi Arabia on his maiden foreign tour as this signifies the depth of relations now enjoyed by the two countries.”
King Salman took this opportunity to invite Arab and Muslim leaders for the summit with President Trump where the leaders discussed key issues including Palestine, he said.
The visit is also significant from the economic and investment dimension between these two countries, Alkhunaizi added.
Youssef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), congratulated King Salman on the success of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit and praised his speech on terrorism and extremism.
Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a legal consultant and investment law expert, said President Trump arriving Saudi Arabia on his very first foreign tour and receiving a warm welcome in Riyadh is reflective of warmth in Saudi-US relations and will help bolster bilateral cooperation.
President Trump choosing Saudi Arabia for the first foreign tour also signifies the importance of the Kingdom in international affairs, he added.
Moreover, this visit reflects the importance of the Kingdom and its role in the making of safety and security of the world, he noted.
The CEO forum with top business leaders from the two countries sharing views on enhancing cooperation further helped bolster bilateral relations, he underlined.
Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, head of foreign trade agency at the ministry of commerce and investment, said the Trump visit comes to signify the depth of relations between the two countries.
He said the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached SR142 billion in 2016 while Saudi exports to the US stood at SR66 billion.
Abdul Rahim Hassan Al-Naqi, secretary-general of the Federation of Chambers of the GCC (FCGCC) Countries, said President Trump selecting the Kingdom for his first visit stresses the role and position of the Kingdom worldwide.
Moreover, diplomats at the Saudi Embassy in Washington said that President Trump’s visit stressed the strategic partnership between the US and the Kingdom and will help bolster bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Commercial Attache Taha Al-Sharif said the visit would boost joint cooperation, notably in the trade and investment areas that conform to the Saudi Vision 2030.
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