The visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the sisterly Republic of Tunisia is an important occasion and a shining sign in the sky of the Saudi-Tunisian relations, which are distinguished by their heritage and roots.
History witnesses the visit of Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba and his former foreign minister, late Mohamed Masmoudi to the founding King, Abdulaziz Al Saud who bestowed them with moral and material support, which contributed to the support of the Tunisian national movement for the independence of Tunisia. This was the first building of long-standing relations in history characterized by the convergence of views on all issues of mutual interest.
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, has pursued the same approach of the Kingdom in the context of its commitment to strengthen cooperation frameworks in various fields and to stand with Tunisia and Tunisians in particular, when the Kingdom has always been a supporter of Tunisia and will continue to stand with its brothers, especially at critical times when the stability of the Arab world has been threatened.
This historic royal visit is important in its bilateral and Arab dimensions and is the first of its kind to Tunisia. It is the culmination of the stages of boosting relations between the two countries, which constitute a model of constructive brotherly cooperation, with which the visits between the two brotherly countries reached great and varied levels. The first visit was in 1966 of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, who visited again Tunisia in 1973. The visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, reflects positive signs in light of the acceleration of international and regional changes that require further consultation and coordination of attitudes.
In the context of these visits, and as part of these Saudi-Tunisian relations in the diplomatic and economic fields that have maintained their stability and roots, it is important to emphasize that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been supporting all fruitful efforts to promote investment opportunities in Tunisia.
It is also worth noting that these fraternal relations have exceeded the limits of material interests and temporal benefits to a longer and more comprehensive horizon, characterized by steady growth in all fields. The Kingdom is one of the first Arab countries to invest in Tunisia.
The Kingdom is keen, as voiced by its leaders, to support all that would consolidate Tunisian political and economic stability, and contribute to stimulating the revival of economic activity through continuous contributions to the Saudi Fund for Development in financing various development projects in Tunisia since the 1970s and other contributions which marks these fraternal relations of common interests.
The scientific and cultural cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Tunisia is developing and growing, and is reflected in the scientific and academic cooperation distinguished by the figures and statistics that led the Kingdom top the field of contracting Tunisian skills among the distinguished university professors, who have been embraced by Saudi universities within the framework of maintaining the quality of their education and seeking more radiation in the competition of advanced international universities.
The statistics also indicate many visits between university officials, academics and researchers to attend conferences and symposia from both countries, stressing the strong scientific, cultural and civilizational communication between the Kingdom and Tunisia and the key strategic partnership established for serving common interests as part of scientific and cultural cooperation.
Considering the importance of holding the Arab summit in Tunisia, the Palestinian issue will top the agenda of the Tunis summit 2019, as being the central issue. The Kingdom and Tunisia share a constant concern to support the Palestinian cause through history and events. The Kingdom started its presidency of the last Arab Summit at its 29th Ordinary Session, held in Dhahran, in Saudi Arabia by the announcement by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques at the opening session, the naming of the summit as the “Al-Quds Summit” in a clear belief that “Palestine and its people are at the hearts of Arabs and Muslims”
It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom categorically rejects any violation of the historical and legal status of Al-Quds Al sharif and voices its firm position of condemnation of any resolution calling for the recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli occupation forces, as confirmed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in his last meeting with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
These lines which remain unable to describe the depth of the Tunisian-Saudi relations, that reach the two peoples, have not been disturbed by regional and international developments and challenges, but the most powerful conclusion is that the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Tunisia will surely launch a new and promising phase in bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Tunisia.
The hopes for the success of this Arab summit, which Tunisia has prepared for – the leadership and the people – during which Arab leaders will meet on its territory to discuss the issues of joint Arab action as part of the League of the Arab States, that the Kingdom is always endeavouring to make it global, coherent and radiant.
By: Mohammed Mudhi Altoom – Saudi Cultural Attaché in Tunisia