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Saudi Arabia keen on strengthening ties with Central, South Asian countries: Prince Faisal
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 16 - 07 - 2021

TASHKENT — Saudi Arabia believes in the importance of strengthening regional interdependence and developing sustainable global links through mutually beneficial partnerships, said Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan on Friday.
The recently launched National Strategy for Transport and Logistics demonstrates the Kingdom's interest in strengthening regional interdependence, he added.
The Saudi foreign minister made the remarks during an international conference on "Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Opportunities and Challenges" hosted by Uzbekistan in its capital city of Tashkent on Friday.
During his speech at the conference, Prince Faisal highlighted Saudi Arabia's historic and strong relations with Central and South Asian countries, which began with knowledge exchange and trade.
The Kingdom has regional partnerships with countries in the region, especially in the fields of renewable energy, including Saudi funding for the construction of the TAPI pipeline, which links Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the Saudi foreign minister pointed out.
He also referred to the recent Saudi investments in renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan worth over $2.5 billion, stressing that the Kingdom is working to strengthen the relationship with the countries of the region in various fields.
The foreign minister also said the Kingdom is working to increase investment in transport infrastructure and logistics services within the framework of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, explaining that the Kingdom has expressed its support for the "Trans-Asia" railway, which will connect 28 countries, covering 12,500 km.
"The technical infrastructure and cybersecurity are central elements to enable increased regional interdependence, noting that the Kingdom with 6 other countries launched the Digital Cooperation Organization, in order to enhance cooperation and accelerate the development of digital economies," Prince Faisal said, calling on other countries to join these joint efforts.
He added the Kingdom believes in the importance of joint action and multilateral frameworks to achieve security and prosperity, adding that the Kingdom is constantly working with its partners to enhance the appropriate environment to increase international trade partnerships across regions, including freedom of maritime navigation, peace and political stability.
"The Kingdom supports all efforts to facilitate dialogue, reconciliation, accord and stability in Afghanistan, and the Kingdom also supports all international efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and ways of financing them," Prince Faisal asserted.
He explained that the Kingdom continues to work with its partners in international organizations to combat the coronavirus pandemic and to mitigate its fallout on the global economy.
The Saudi foreign minister stressed the importance of addressing climate change in order to achieve sustainable economic recovery and maintain energy security and efficiency.
He pointed out that the Kingdom has adopted and supported the idea of a circular carbon economy as a sustainable and cost-effective approach.
Prince Faisal referred to the "Green Saudi Arabia" and "Green Middle East" initiatives recently launched by Crown Prince Muhammad, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by more than 4 percent of global contributions and to plant more than 10 billion trees in the Kingdom and more than 40 billion trees in the Middle East in partnership with the countries in the region.
"The Kingdom looks forward to exploring ways to increase bilateral cooperation and strengthen multilateral frameworks through partnerships and collective action in order to confront common challenges and encourage the appropriate environment for development, growth and prosperity," the Saudi foreign minister stressed.

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