Riyadh, 16 November:
The President of the Genenral National Congress, Mohamed Magarief met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in Riyadh today, Friday, to discuss political, economic as well as cultural cooperation between the two countries. The talks also covered the crisis in Gaza, the uprising in Syria and other regional issues.
Accompanying Magarief were the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Abdulaziz, intelligence chief Salem Hassi and a small group of other officials. Attending the meeting on the Saudi side were Crown Prince Salman, Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah together with a number of other ministers and officials, including the President of the Shura Council, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh and the Saudi Ambassador in Libya, Mohammed Al-Ali.
The two-day visit is the first top level meeting between Libya and Saudi Arabia since the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime last year. Although Saudi Arabia was strongly opposed to Qaddafi who had wanted to assassinate the Saudi ruler, it was one of the last Arab states to welcome the revolution and recognise the former National Transitional Council.
Magarief arrived last night at Riyadh Air Base where he was met by the Shura Council head.
Today, following his meeting with King Abdullah, he held further talks with Ashaikh at the council’s headquarters. Ashaikh was reported by the Saudi Press Agency saying that Saudi Arabia was happy at the victory achieved by the Libyan people and hoped that they would now enjoy progress and prosperity. He also hoped that the visit would be the start of “constructive cooperation” between the two countries. He explained the workings of the Shura Council to Magarief and expressed its willingness to cooperate with the GNC in parliamentary work.
Saudi Arabia’s Shura council is wholly appointed by the King.
In response, Magarief thanked the Saudis for their invitation, saying that he looked forward to “consolidating the strong relationship” between the to countries. “We look forward to further cooperation between us and the Shura Council for and an exchange of visits.” [/restrict]