The joyful and festive event, which was attended by HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz as guest of honour, brought together more than 800 dignitaries, businesspeople, academics, artists as well as members of the German community and the Saudi civil society to celebrate another year of vibrant Saudi-German Relations.
Following the arrival of the guest of honour, the governor of Riyadh, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and a short private meeting between the Ambassador and the Prince, the two dignitaries officially opened the reception.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Ranau reminded the audience of the historical events which took place 30 years ago in autumn 1989 and lead to the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989 and ultimately to the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990. He said, “This peaceful reunification of our country in the middle of a united Europe is what we celebrate today.”
He then referred to Germany’s condemnation in the strongest terms of the attacks on oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, adding “Efforts towards regional stability and security become all the more important – it is time for dialogue and a way forward for diplomacy.”
He then congratulated the Kingdom on opening its doors to tourists from all over the world. “I am confident that Germans will soon be coming to Saudi Arabia in large numbers. Being a nation of keen travellers, we are eager to explore away from the well-trodden paths and to be among the first to see the unique landscapes and cultural heritage Saudi Arabia has to offer”, he explained.
Finally, Ambassador Ranau outlined upcoming activities to strengthen bilateral ties. In November, the German Embassy in Riyadh and the German Consulate General in Jeddah are planning to organize German Cultural Days in Riyadh and Jeddah to put a spotlight on the thriving cultural relations. And at the end of the year, the planned meeting of the Joint Economic Commission in Berlin seeks to give additional momentum to Saudi-German economic and business ties.