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Saudi technology minister open to using Huawei products

In this May 29, 2019 file photo, a woman walks by a Huawei retail store in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

TSUKUBA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Saudi Arabia's technology minister said Sunday he sees no problem with using products made by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co.

"No, we don't see a problem," Abdullah bin Amer al-Swaha said in an interview with Kyodo News, after being asked whether he has any concerns about using Huawei products.

The comments came as U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed heavy sanctions on Huawei, citing security concerns, and encouraged allies including Japan to do the same.

"When it comes to building our digital economy, we have two guiding principles. The first one, we're an open economy, so we are always pro-partnership, whether it comes from the East, Europe, or from the West," he said on the sidelines of a Group of 20 ministerial meeting on trade and digital economy in Tsukuba, eastern Japan.

"The second guiding principle, as long as those companies and those solution providers comply with our technical, regulatory and cybersecurity requirements, we're more than happy to work with them," he said.

Saudi Arabia, the host of next year's G-20 summit, is in the process of diversifying its economy from oil into areas including information technology and tourism.

Al-Swaha said the country is planning the largest commercial rollout of the next-generation 5G mobile network in the Middle East and North Africa, and that he hopes a cooperation agreement signed with Japan on Sunday will help make further advances in IT.

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