More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Cook Islands and Saudi Arabia establish diplomatic relations

Thursday 13 April 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National


Cook Islands and Saudi Arabia establish diplomatic relations
L-R: MFAI Director of the Pacific and Regional Affairs Division, Antonina Browne, with MFAI Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann, Prime Minister Mark Brown, Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of Strategy and Business Intelligence, Saja Alhoshan, executive director of the Saudi Fund for Development, Eng. Faisal Al Qatani, and Saudi Arabia official. MFAI/23041210

Cook Islands has formalised diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the signing of the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations in Wellington this week.

The signing of the Protocol by acting Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand Piakura Passfield, and Tariq Alfayez, Charge Chargé d'Affaires for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to New Zealand, is the culmination of exchanges between representatives of the two governments since 2020, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).

The most recent bilateral discussions between the two governments were held in February in Nadi, Fiji, in the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders Retreat. Prime Minister Mark Brown, and MFAI Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann, met with Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of Strategy and Business Intelligence Saja Alhoshan and Eng. Faisal Al Qatani, executive director of the Saudi Fund for Development.

In a statement, Herrmann said: “We welcome the interest of Saudi Arabia in exploring further co-operation with the Cook Islands in areas such as renewable energy, agriculture, technology, and sustainable development.”

“We appreciate the efficiency with which Saudi Arabia have moved to formalise diplomatic relations and their preparedness to support the Cook Islands’ immediate priorities.

“The Covid-19 impact on the Cook Islands puts at risk ten years of economic growth and development. While we continue to work proactively to expand our air links and uplift and work closely with likeminded partners through the leadership of Samoa as current chair of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI), partners like Saudi Arabia offer potential for timely and much needed new investment and cooperation.”

MFAI officials will continue to work with Saudi Arabia officials towards possible future bilateral co-operation programmes and expect to step up collaboration in the multilateral for a in the months ahead.