The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Gen. Abubakhar Jeje ODONGO on Friday afternoon, October 29th, 2021 met with H.E Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz KATTAN, Minister of State for African States Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Ministry Headquarters.
Hon Odongo noted that relations between Uganda and Saudi Arabia are cordial and have grown over the years. He added that there has been increased cooperation in the areas of Defence, Economic, Scientific, and Social fields.
Minister Odongo recalled that Uganda and Saudi Arabia have worked closely bilaterally and in the multilateral arena on regional and international issues as they share common membership in the United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), among membership of other international organizations.
He emphasized Uganda’s readiness to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on issues of global terrorism, human rights, refugees, and social development.
He further applauded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the donations made and solidarity and cooperation with Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that Uganda looks forward to continued cooperation with the Kingdom in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.
Hon Odongo invited investors from Saudi Arabia to explore the various opportunities available in the areas of agriculture, mining, tourism, health, and ICT and take advantage of the investment incentives offered. He further appealed to Saudi Arabia to consider expanding its importation of products from Uganda to include fruits, vegetables, spices, milk, grains, and nuts.
He foresaw the growth in trade between the two countries given the designation of Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate in Uganda.
H.E Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz KATTAN reiterated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to deepening bilateral relations with Uganda, adding that his visit to Uganda re-affirms these ties.
Minister Kattan expressed his gratitude to the Government of Uganda for granting Saudi Airlines the right to fly between the two countries adding that this will result in increased volumes of trade between Uganda and Saudi Arabia.
He mentioned that Uganda and Saudi Arabia share the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a key role in the establishment of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) in 2011 to promote international counter-terrorism cooperation and support Member States in the implementation of the global counter-terrorism strategy
H.E Kattan further emphasized the pledge made by the Crown Prince, H.E Mohammed bin Salman to invest 1Billion USD in Africa under the Saudi Africa Investment Program, where the Kingdom will support African countries with investments and loans this year to help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Later in the day, at State House Entebbe, President Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries which will establish a framework to strengthen consultations and exchange visits on issues of mutual interest.