Minister Stropnicky receives the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky had talks with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Mr. Abdullah Al-Sheikh, on 13th June. The main topic of the meeting was to discuss the mutual cooperation of both countries regarding defence issues and the arms industry.

At the beginning of the talks, the Ambassador reminded the Minister what a negative impact a distorted view or understanding of their faith could have on future mutual cooperation between the two countries. Minister Stropnicky said in his reply that, "Saudi Arabia is a very important player for us in the Middle East, and we have a definite interest in further developing bilateral relations with your country."

The Ambassador informed the Minister that the Saudi party is ready to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, the text of which was drafted by the Czech Ministry of Defence. The document could be signed during the visit of Saudi Arabia’s First Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Minister Stropnicky has invited the Crown Prince to visit the Czech Republic.

"We are ready to show you both our military capabilities and the potential of the Czech defence industry," said Minister Stropnicky. "Concrete cooperation is already taking shape; as Saudi Arabia presently buys several hundred Tatra trucks from us, and have also requested that we assist them with training their drivers. We are ready to cooperate in any way with the Saudi Arabian armed forces," added the Minister.

During the meeting, Mr. Abdullah Al-Sheikh expressed an interest in the use of the CR’s passive surveillance systems. There are also further opportunities for a partnership with Saudi Arabia; for example, in products such as airport radars or small arms.

June 18, 2014