Geneva, 9 May 2008. A Protocol to the 2006 Cooperation Agreement between Saudi Arabia and CERN was today signed at CERN by H.E. Dr. Mohammed I. Al-Suwaiyel, President of the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia, and Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN1, in the presence of H.E. Ali I. Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral resources and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco, H.E. Dr. Ibrahim A. Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance and a delegation of representatives of Saudi universities and Saudi Aramco.
The objective of the Protocol is to provide the operational framework as required for the execution of a range of specific tasks under the Cooperation Agreement in order to build a growing high-energy particle physics community in Saudi Arabia that eventually will participate as a visible member in the global scientific community collaborating at CERN.
“The Saudi Government has started a number of initiatives to promote R&D for national development and to contribute to science. This protocol is a step that will enable Saudi scientists to make such contributions,” said Dr Mohammed I. Al-Suwaiyel.
“This represents a significant step towards building a capacity for basic research in the Middle East,” said Dr Aymar, “we have been pleased to welcome Saudi researchers into CERN’s global community, and I look forward to seeing the collaboration flourish over the coming years.”
CERN has also signed Cooperation Agreements also with other countries in North Africa and the Middle East such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. Today's signature is another step forward in the further development of basic science around the world and for CERN as a European global laboratory that carries upon its shoulders much of the world’s endeavour to understand the fundamental laws of the Universe.