Ambassador Ole E. Moesby with King Salman

Ole E. Moesby*
Denmark and Saudi Arabia share a strong bilateral relation both historical, political and commercial

2020 will be a remarkable year. When we celebrated the beginning of the new decade just six months ago no one really imagined that we would be deeply impacted by a global pandemic, economic recession and social tensions. 

History have taught us to be adaptable and global leaders have acted to combat the COVID-19 virus and initiated remarkable countermeasures to avoid a deep and long economic recession. 

2020 also marks positive occasions. On 1 February 2020, Denmark and Saudi Arabia marked our 45-year anniversary of diplomatic relations. On 1 February 1975 embassies opened in Copenhagen and in Riyadh. 

Since then, the Royal Family in Denmark has completed two official visits – one by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II to Saudi Arabia in 1984 and one by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in 2016. 

Denmark and Saudi Arabia share a strong bilateral relation both historical, political and commercial. The current COVID-19 situation prevented the larger prepared celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II’s 80th birthday on 16 April 2020 as well as the remarkable milestone for the diplomatic relations earlier this year. We hope that we later this year will have opportunities to gather and celebrate.

COVID-19 continues to spread globally but in Denmark the country is moved swiftly towards a more normal situation. 

The Danish government, led by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, has handled the COVID-19 crisis in Denmark with a firm but effective hand and based on a concept of prudence. 

Denmark was one of the first European countries to announce a comprehensive lockdown on 11 March 2020. One month later, due to a great improvement in the COVID-19 situation in Denmark, the government initiated a 3-phased plan to gradually reopen, also as the first country in Europe. 

All three phases  have since then been completed with restaurants, physical work attendance in the public sector, cinemas, schools, beauty salons, and indoor sports reopening. 

However, large gatherings and full-scale opening for international tourists are still awaiting reopening. 

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have reacted rapidly and with comprehensive measures such as full lockdowns, curfew, social distancing, increased hygiene focus and other precautionary measures. 

The measures taken by the authorities have been drastic but necessary. Saudi Arabia as president of the G20 has been very engaged at the global stage and has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that G20 swiftly discussed, coordinated and agreed on appropriate and prudent action to combat COVID-19 and the global economic consequences. I hope we will continue to see effective measures agreed upon towards the G20 summit in November. 

On 31 May 2020, the Royal Danish Embassy in Riyadh welcomed its staff members back to the chancellery after a long period of working remotely but efficiently. We are looking forward to future projects and collaborations with all our Saudi Arabian partners.

We hope that our good bilateral relation will continue to grow as it has done so far. We hope that Denmark can continue to contribute within the different sectors, to support reaching the goals of Vision 2030 and to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in all aspects.

The best regards, 

Ole E. Moesby

Ambassador of Denmark to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. 

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