U.N. chief hails Saudi Arabia as ‘very important partner’

Ban Ki-moon says the U.N. is working with Saudi Arabia on peace building, security and humanitarian work

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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has praised Saudi Arabia as a “very important partner” in peace building, security and humanitarian work.

The U.N. chief was speaking to MBC presenter and producer Mouna ElHaimoud on the sidelines of the UAE Government Summit being held in Dubai.

“Saudi Arabia is very important partner for the U.N. in the area of peace and security development and the humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Ban also said that he and King Salman bin Abdulaziz have agreed to “work together to defeat terrorism,” and expressed gratitude for late king Abdullah “who has contributed $110m for the account of the terrorism center.”

“Now we are happy casting early capacity building project to help many countries who have no capacity to counter terrorism,” he said.

“We are training them, providing information and the logistical support. We started from Nigeria and we are going to expand this capacity building programs to many countries,” the U.N. chief added.

On the situation in Iraq, Ban said people there “have the right to defend their own country and to live without fear to live in peace and security.”

He said a recent move by Saudi Arabia and Iraq to re-open their embassies in each other’s capital was “very encouraging.”

“As for the United Nations, I myself have been trying to facilitate to improve their relationship since the days of the late king Abdullah,” he said.