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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Riyadh hosts first Saudi-Africa summit

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and African leaders urged a halt to the Gaza war

Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever joint summit with African countries on Friday in Riyadh. The event, which brought together leaders from Africa and the Middle East, aimed to promote strategic partnerships and develop relations.

Representing Africa were the leaders of Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Djibouti, and Mauritania, along with the prime ministers of Ethiopia and Niger, and the foreign minister of Egypt.

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According to the state Saudi Press Agency, more than 50 deals and preliminary agreements in the fields of health, education, and development projects were signed during the summit. Saudi Arabia provided financing and insurance guarantees of $10 billion for exports to the continent by 2030.

Around $5 billion in development projects will be financed by the Saudi Arabian Development Fund over the same period. In addition, Saudi Arabia committed to investing $25 billion in Africa by the end of the decade as part of its Vision 2030 plan.

This event was an “important historic turning point in relations” among the participating countries, the outlet added.

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The leaders also made use of the opportunity to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said “we condemn what the Gaza Strip is facing from military assault, targeting of civilians, the violations of international law by the Israeli occupation authorities.” “We stress the need to stop this war and the forced displacement of Palestinians,” he added.

This position was also stated later in the “Riyadh Declaration – Roadmap of Saudi-African Cooperation” with the African leaders who attended the summit.

Speaking to RT, economic consultant Ken Ive said “Africa will be a voice of reason and a voice of wisdom.” He explained that belonging to any economic bloc, whether it’s BRICS or G20, means being a “part of the cooperation agreement that they ask… to support each other when major issues arise.”