Saudi Arabia, Spain sign $2.2bn defense deal

  • Saudi Arabia will buy five small warships from the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia
  • The crown prince’s trip to Spain follows a two-day official visit to France and a tour of the US, Britain and Egypt

Saudi Arabia and Spain signed a $2.2 billion framework agreement on defense co-operation at a ceremony on Wednesday in the Spanish capital.

The Kingdom will buy five small warships from the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia, Spain’s army will train Saudi military personnel and contractors will build a naval construction center in Saudi Arabia.

The deal was among a raft of agreements on business, trade and culture reached during the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Spain, which concluded on Wednesday.

Earlier, the crown prince was welcomed by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid. The king hosted a luncheon in his honor attended by senior Spanish officials and businessmen. The crown prince then held talks with Defense Minister Maria Dolores Cospedal and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Spain is a leader in sectors such as renewable energy and infrastructure, which are key to Saudi Vision 2030.

Spanish companies have already won two major infrastructure contracts in Saudi Arabia. A Spanish consortium, Al-Shoula, is building the high-speed railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and the Spanish construction group FCC leads one of three consortia building Riyadh’s rapid transit system.

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