(CNN) — The US State Department announced, on Monday, that it welcomed the visit made by the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, to Ukraine, on Sunday, for the first time since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 30 years ago.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price responded, during a press conference, to a question about commenting on the visit, saying: “We very much welcome that visit, and we also welcome what was announced regarding Saudi Arabia’s granting of more than $400 million to Ukraine, including energy and other forms of basic supplies.” which is expected to be delivered soon.
He added, “We have taken measures to provide assistance to Ukraine that will enhance its security, economic recovery, energy security and ability to deal with the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian attacks, and we warmly welcome the actions of a party like Saudi Arabia.”
And the spokesman answered a question about “Does this help the rapprochement between the United States and Saudi Arabia, by saying, “This is an eight-decade-old relationship, and it is an important relationship and we value it, and we have multiple interests, and when it comes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we always appreciate when our partners in turn provide important forms of support to our other partners.
It is noteworthy that the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky received the Saudi Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation at the presidential residence in the capital, Kiev. During the reception, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries and opportunities for their development, in addition to discussing a number of issues and regional and international developments of common interest.
The Saudi foreign minister reiterated “the Kingdom’s keenness and support for all international efforts aimed at resolving the (Ukrainian-Russian) crisis politically, and its continuation of its efforts to contribute to mitigating the humanitarian consequences resulting from it.”
The Ukrainian president’s office also said that Zelensky said he expects the meeting “will provide a new impetus to further intensify our mutually beneficial dialogue,” and continued: “Thank you for supporting peace in Ukraine, our sovereignty, and our territorial integrity. This is very important for us and our society.”
Saudi Arabia has pursued a neutral course in the conflict, and the kingdom brokered a prisoner exchange last year, in which two US citizens and five Britons who had been held by Russia were released.
Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office, described the meeting via Telegram as “successful.” The Ukrainian official said: “Ukraine will receive real help from Saudi Arabia. The presidential office signed two documents to formalize a $400 million aid package for Ukraine: $100 million from Humanitarian aid and $300 million in petroleum products.
“Ukraine and Saudi Arabia have common challenges and experiences in dealing with them,” Yermak said, referring to the use of Iranian drones by Houthi forces in Yemen. “We are talking about Iranian drones (or drones) that were supplied to some ‘rebels’ and attacked Saudi oil facilities.”
“Since last year, the same Iranian drones have been in the possession of Russian terrorists and have been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” he said.
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