Saudi Arabia and Italy have pledged to work closely in the field of security and counter-terrorism following wide-ranging talks between Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Minister of Interior, on Monday. The talks focused on new initiatives in the fields of security, police training and counter-terrorism, besides a range of bilateral and regional issues. Alfano, who has had two-hour marathon talks with Crown Prince Mohammed on Sunday night, conveyed his country’s preparedness to train Saudi police personnel on security and counter-terrorism. “The training in Italy will help the Saudi personnel to acquire more policing skills and improve professionalism in the force” he added that “a technical delegation from Italy will shortly visit the Kingdom, or differntly, to prepare the details of the training programs.” The agreement in the field of police collaboration comes within the framework of a long-dormant security pact that was signed between the Kingdom and Italy in 2007.
Gazprom’s CEO, Alexei Miller, affirmed that the company sees new projects and directions for cooperation with Japan. Gazprom’s delegation led by CEO Alexei Miller participates in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima (Peru). During the summit, Miller participated in meetings of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin with Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang, China’s President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where the parties discussed, among other issues, cooperation in the energy sector.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired on Tuesday the 15th Joint GCC Defense Council meeting, stressing that the GCC’s Ministers of Defense should work towards more military cooperation and joint defense, as “ongoing events in the region make it incumbent upon us to cooperate and coordinate our efforts to meet future challenges.” We look forward to discussing all topics on the agenda of the meeting and putting it into effect and to discussing the outcome of the Camp David meeting, which included strengthening the military and security strategic partnership with the United States for more stability in the Gulf region” Crown Prince said.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will pay a working visit to France on November 17. During the visit, Mammadyarov will meet with French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault and discuss prospects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The current state of the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will also be discussed at the meeting.
Moldova’s first direct presidential election has resulted in a convincing victory for the leader of the Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon, widely seen as a pro-Russian candidate. He has served as a member of Parliament and worked as a deputy Prime Minister. He has more than once called for improving relations between Moldova and Russia and has connections to the Russian political elite. In an interview with the TASS news agency, Dodon announced that, if elected president, his first foreign visit would be to Russia to discuss issues of friendship, cooperation and settling the Transnistria conflict. In October this year, Dodon said that, if he came to power, he would hold a referendum on canceling Moldova’s agreement on association with the EU, which – according to him – had been adopted in haste. In the meantime, victory in the presidential election in another East European country went to a candidate from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rumen Radev, a former Air Force general, who – like Dodon – said it was necessary to improve relations with Russia and to lift sanctions.
The French Development Agency is preparing to establish a diversified partnership with the Gafsa region, in particular with the Phosphates Company to create rail lines connected to ports and dedicated to phosphate transport, especially to the governorate of Sfax, France’s ambassador in Tunis, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor told TAP on Tuesday during his visit to the region. France is willing to finance this project, he said. Efforts are being made to boost the partnership between Gafsa governorate and several French regions, including Lille and the Pays de la Loire, the diplomat said, pointing out that a cultural centre will be created in Gafsa as part of the promotion of the sector in the region. The visit of the French Ambassador in Gafsa is part of monitoring the project to rehabilitate the districts of Essourour and El Moula, financed by AFD and the Tunisian Agency for Rehabilitation and Urban Renewal (ARRU). During his meeting with the governor of Gafsa, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor spoke about the multidisciplinary hospital project that will be carried out in 3 or 4 years for EUR 60 million in the framework of the recycling of part of Tunisia’s debt to France. This project will have a large influence on neighbouring regions, he pointed out.
A senior American diplomat has reassured the Kingdom about America’s continuing commitment to strong and robust relations regardless of the changes one may see after the US administration is led by Donald Trump. Christopher Henzel, deputy chief of mission at the Riyadh-based US Embassy, said that the Saudi-US partnership “will remain strong.” “This partnership is driven by the interests of both countries, and is sustained by the dense network of relationships and cooperation that has developed over the past 80 years,” said Henzel, while speaking during an election night reception hosted by the US Embassy here on Tuesday.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Nov. 9 sent a congratulatory letter to Donald Trump, the newly elected US president. “I hope that the US-Azerbaijani bilateral relations will continue to develop successfully,” President Aliyev said. He reminded that the US-Azerbaijani relations have a 25-year history, and during this period, the relations of friendship and cooperation reached a high level. “I hope that as a co-chairing country of the OSCE Minsk Group, the US under your leadership will contribute to the fair settlement of this conflict in accordance with the norms of the international law, within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” the message said.
Germany and the Palestinian Authority signed on Wednesday two financial and technical cooperation agreements that commit Germany to provide 49 million euros to several social development and economic projects, according to a press release by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry. It said the agreements, signed by Foreign Minister Riyad Malki and the German Representative to the Palestinian areas, Peter Beerwerth, will go to projects such as water desalination, education, development and job creation for youth.
The commitments undertaken by Azerbaijan and Italy on implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will expand bilateral cooperation, said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Baku Nov. 7. “Our cooperation covers many areas, such as trade, agrarian sector, energy,” Gentiloni said in a briefing with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. “Italy can also contribute to development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU.”