U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Wyche Fowler held a press conference today in Riyadh, and welcomed the upcoming visit to the United States of Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, describing it as an important event in the course of the close and distinguished relations between the two friendly countries. Recalling the historic meeting in 1945 of King Abdul Aziz, founder of the modern Kingdom, with Franklin Roosevelt, he quoted the U.S. President as saying that in five minutes of discussion with the King he had learned more than from a dozen written exchanges.
Ambassador Fowler went on to say that over the years many meetings have been held between leaders of the two countries to exchange viewpoints and hold consultations on key issues facing the region and the world. As to the strength of their economic relations, in 1997 Saudi exports to the United States amounted to more than U.S. $ 10 billion, with imports at U.S. $ 8.5 billion. That year, U.S. investments in the Kingdom were over U.S. $ 8 billion, with over 200 American companies operating in Saudi Arabia.
Ambassador Fowler confirmed that Crown Prince Abdullah would meet with the President of the United States, his Vice President, and leaders of the U.S. administration. Members of his accompanying delegation would meet with their U.S. counterparts to discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern to the two countries.