1999 News Story

Saudi-U.S. Business Council meeting in Washington DC

At the reception yesterday following the fourth general assembly in Washington DC of the

Saudi-U.S. Business Council, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar Bin Sultan

Bin Abdul Aziz praised the close economic relations between the two countries. He stated

that the recent establishment of the Supreme Economic Council in the Kingdom, under the

chairmanship of Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander

of the National Guard, was evidence of the Kingdom's sincerity and credibility in dealing

with the global economy and the challenges of the 21st century.

Prince Bandar went on to underscore the importance of the encouraging signals towards

forging peace in the Middle East, and the need to settle thorny issues in Arab-American

relations including the return of Libya to the world community after surrendering the

suspects in the Lockerbie case. He expressed pride in the Kingdom's participation in the

International Millennium Festival being held in Orlando by the Disney Corporation, saying

that the event provides an opportunity to present the Arab view and Arab positions

regarding the issue of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and to refute the false Israeli claims to its

sovereignty.  He referred to the city's holy status in the three religions and the absolute

need for peace and stability in the region.
In his speech, Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf praised the

recent formation of the Higher Economic Council. Highlighting the important role of the

private sector in enhancing Saudi Arabia's economic growth, he reviewed the initiatives

taken by the Saudi government to privatize important sectors of the economy, and to support

the Kingdom's application to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). He pointed out the

availability of investment opportunities in the Kingdom as well as the stability of its

markets and the expansion of its economic activities in the Gulf and the Middle East.


[full text of Prince Bandar's speech]