Saudi Arabia and France Strengthen Defense Cooperation
Saudi Arabia and France have joined hands to fortify their defense capabilities, security and stability in the region. Representatives of both countries signed a bilateral plan for cooperation on capabilities, military and R&D, and industries on December 20 in Paris.
Prince Khalid Bin Salman, the Saudi Defense Minister, reviewed the kingdom’s strategic relations, defense cooperation and shared vision for regional security and stability with the French Minister Sebastien Lecornu.
He also met with the French President Emmanuel Macron. The two discussed multifaceted aspects of bilateral relations between the Kingdom and France.
Saudi and France Defense Deal
Saudi Arabia and France have a strong history of bilateral trade relations within the defense, infrastructure and aerospace sectors. The Kingdom was the second biggest purchaser of French arms with deals totaling more than $12.67 billion.
A few years ago, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the France’s naval group to build warships and frigates. This time while in France, Prince Khalid was treated to an air defense exercise involving the Rafale aircraft. “I also explored the frigates’s defense capabilities and advanced technologies and equipment,” the Saudi Minister shared on social media platform X.
President Macron, in June 2023, said France is prepared to support Saudi Arabia in strengthening its defense capabilities. He highlighted the willingness of French companies to continue to support the kingdom in implementing its ambitious Vision 2030 – Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reform agenda.
France Committed to Saudi Arabia
The two countries, over the past six decades, have maintained consistent cultural collaboration, actively working to enhance various aspects as museum development, the film industry and heritage preservation.
Besides defense, Saudi Arabia and France are engaged in a sustainable development project for AlUla. France is working towards improving the city’s cultural and tourist infrastructure due to its rich historical significance, and World Heritage sites etc.
Furthermore, both countries diplomacy and foreign policy aim to contribute to international endeavors that strive for security, stability and global peace in the region. France upholds relations with Saudi Arabia, seeing it as a reliable ally with a crucial role of peace and stability in the region and finding solutions.