Saudi Arabia, US announce several agreements during Biden visit

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Saudi Arabia and the US will cooperate on a range of future industries including 5G networks, enhanced cybersecurity, and space exploration, in addition to public health, the two countries announced on Friday.

The announcement came after US President Joe Biden met with Saudi Arabia’s leaders King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Telecommunication

An MoU will connect Saudi and US technology companies to deploy 5G technology using open, virtualized, and cloud-based radio access networks locally, in addition to developing 6G cell technology, a White House statement announced.

It came as part of an MoU between the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the US National Telecommunication and Information Administration.

Saudi Arabia had reportedly committed to a significant investment toward this project under the umbrella of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment announced at the G7 Summit in June.

Cybersecurity

An additional stage of cooperation will see the two countries expanding an existing bilateral relationship on sharing critical threats and malicious activities in the cyberspace.

The statement said that the move would “enhance the shared defense” of both countries and help collaborate on “best practices, technologies, tools, and on approaches to cybersecurity training and education.”

An agreement was reportedly signed between Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority and two US agencies – the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Space exploration

Human spaceflight and commercial development in the space sector will also be amplified following expanded cooperation, the statement added.

“The US and Saudi Arabia are expanding cooperation in all fields of space exploration, including human spaceflight, earth observation, commercial and regulatory development, and responsible behavior in outer space,” according to the statement.

The US President also welcomed the Kingdom’s dedication to preserving peace in space through the signing of the Artemis Accords and “reaffirming its commitment to the responsible, peaceful, and sustainable exploration and use of outer space.”

Public health

The Saudi Ministry of Health and the US Department of Health signed an MoU that will strengthen the nations’ commitment to public health.

The agreement will bring greater collaboration in capacity building, disease surveillance, public policies to promote health, and health information systems.

Biden also said that he discussed Saudi Arabia’s defensive needs during his meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Biden, who arrived in the Kingdom earlier in the evening, met with King Salman at Al Salam Royal Palace in Jeddah before the Crown Prince headed a meeting with the US president and officials from both countries.

Speaking to reporters following his meetings, Biden said he had good discussions on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies during his meetings with King Salman and the Crown Prince.

A package of announcements ranging from removing peacekeepers from a strategic island off the Saudi and Egyptian coasts were also revealed following the high-level meeting.

With Reuters

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