What looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening is the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region, NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have agreed to explore using outer space for peaceful purposes. NASA/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The United States and Saudi Arabia have announced intentions to explore the use of outer space together in pursuit of peaceful purposes, the U.S. State Dept. announced Tuesday.
The agreement is an extension of the Jeddah Communique, a document outlining the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States signed by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and President Joe Biden in 2022.
"At the end of this meeting, the two sides issued this communique outlining the strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States over the coming decades with the aim of advancing their mutual interests and advancing a common vision for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East," the communique said.
Officials from both nations have begun negotiating a Framework Agreement for Cooperation in Aeronautics and the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, the State Dept. said.
The two sides intend to hold joint discussions on ways they can cooperate in the fields of aeronautics, Earth and space science, space operations and the use of outer space "for peaceful purposes."
"Our countries confirm their mutual desire to enhance cooperation involving commercial and regulatory development, responsible behavior in outer space, and space security. This effort could promote opportunities for collaboration between our respective commercial space industries, the Dept. said in its statement.
During the meeting that led to the 2022 Jeddah Communique, both sides affirmed the need for resolving international disputes through peaceful and diplomatic means and alleviating suffering in countries affected by crises. It also outlines a strategy for regional cooperation in many parts of the Middle East, including investing in the power infrastructure in Iraq, working toward a truce in conflict-torn Yemen, allowing the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to all Syrians in need, providing critical assistance to the Ukrainian people, and ensuring the unhindered export of grain and wheat products to alleviate global food crises, promoting the rights of the Afghan people including the rights of women and girls to education, enjoyment, and the right to work, among other things.