Prince Saud To Lead Kingdom’s Delegation To Brazil Summit

RIYADH, 8 May 2005 — Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal will lead a high-level Saudi delegation to Brazil to participate in the first summit of Arab and South American leaders. The visit was announced by senior Saudi and Brazilian officials here yesterday. The conference seeks to bring the two regions closer in the domains of politics, culture and commerce.

On the sidelines of the summit, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and the South America’s Mercosur region are likely to sign an accord for the first time to boost trade between the two economic blocs.

The Mercosur bloc is made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Leaders from 22 Arab and 12 South American countries will attend the four-day summit that will open in Brasilia tomorrow.

“On behalf of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud will attend the summit meeting in which peace, war on terror, development and commercial relations will top the agenda,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

He said the summit will be preceded by a meeting of foreign ministers on May 9, which will be attended by Prince Saud.

Officials said the aim of the summit was to enhance mutual understanding, promote relations in all fields and boost business links between the two regions. The meeting will provide an ideal opportunity to establish a network of economic and commercial players from both regions.

“Saudi participation is important keeping in view the growing relations between the Kingdom and South American nations,” said the officials.

Jose Carlos of the Brazilian Embassy told Arab News that Saudi Arabia and Brazil have forged closer relations with a large number of Saudis traveling to the South American country, the fifth largest in the world.

Saudi Arabia is Brazil’s major trading partner in the Middle East as is Brazil for the Kingdom in Latin America with two-way trade exceeding $1 billion annually.

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