His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Second Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, visited Washington DC from November 1-4, 1999, at the invitation of Secretary of Defense William Cohen. During the visit, Prince Sultan met with President Clinton, Secretary of State Albright, his counterpart, Secretary of Defense Cohen, and a number of senior officials in the Administration. In his meetings, Prince Sultan was accompanied by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States, Minister of Commerce Osama Faqih, and Minister of State Musaid Al-Eiban. Members of the delegation also met with Secretary of Commerce Daley and USTR Ambassador Barshefsky.
The visit is in the framework of the close, strong and historic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America stretching back more than half a century to President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abd al-Aziz. It reflects the desire of both governments to have regular high-level consultations to assure coordination of policies that affect mutual interests.
The two sides discussed topics of mutual interest and concern, including the close cooperation of the two governments, particularly military and economic cooperation. Both the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that continuing high-level military contact and joint military training enhance preparedness and help sustain security and peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. The two countries pledged to continue to work together to promote peace and prosperity in the region and throughout the world.
The United States and Saudi Arabia reviewed the current state of the international economy. Both sides agreed on the need to continue to consult closely on these issues, and to continue cooperation to enhance trade and investment between the two countries. Both sides reiterated their desire to support and broaden the economic partnership between the private sector in the two countries and to remove obstructions to the development and flow of trade between the two countries and to facilitate the entry of their products into the market of the other. Both sides expressed their desire to initiate discussions on an agreement that encourages and protects investment in the two countries. The United States expressed its support for Saudi Arabia's accession to the World Trade Organization, and both sides looked forward to increasing trade opportunities and further integration into the global economy which will flow from Saudi Arabia's membership of that organization. Both sides agreed to continue their efforts to complete these important economic negotiations as soon as possible. The American side welcomed continued Saudi efforts to enforce measures for protecting intellectual property rights and looked forward to further progress. The two sides renewed their intentions to consult fully and cooperate on the issues related to global climate change and will continue to assure that measures taken in this regard are based on the state of scientific evidence and data. They stressed the need to encourage technical cooperation and scientific research in the fields of water; agricultural standards, regulations and policies; and specification and measurements.
The two sides stressed the vital and strategic importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the world oil market, and the United States reiterated its recognition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a secure and reliable supplier of energy resources, especially to the United States.
Both sides pledged to cooperate fully in continuing efforts to secure a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the principle of land for peace, and the results of the Madrid Conference. The United States updated Prince Sultan on the Presidents meetings with Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat in Oslo, and our commitment to assist the parties achieve a permanent status agreement within the tight deadlines they have set for themselves. The two sides also discussed efforts to reinvigorate the Syrian and Lebanese tracks of the peace process, as well as the multilateral track. Both sides expressed hope for rapid progress toward the goal of comprehensive peace.
Saudi Arabia expressed its full support for the peace process efforts exerted by the United States and underscored its willingness to support Palestinian aspirations.
During their discussions on Iraq, the two sides agreed Iraq must comply with its obligations under the relevant resolutions, and that the British/Dutch draft resolution on Iraq, now under consideration by the UN Security Council, provides the best means of enhancing humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people and containing the threat posed by the Iraqi regime. They agreed that Iraq continues to constitute a standing threat to peace and stability in the Gulf region. Both sides expressed their shared concern that the Government of Iraq's actions continue to cause suffering among the Iraqi people. They also agreed the Gulf region would never be truly secure as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power in Iraq.
Both countries welcome Iran's stated goal of improving relations with other states in the region, and statements by Iranian officials condemning terrorism.
Both sides underscored the danger and threat that terrorism constitutes for international security and stability. Noting that concerted international action is an effective way to combat terrorism, the Untied States and Saudi Arabia reaffirmed their pledge to work together to defeat the scourge of terrorism in the region and around the world. They called on all countries to prevent terrorists from operating form their soil, and to assist in bringing known terrorist to justice and, in so doing, both countries supported all relevnat UN resolutions.
Both Saudi Arabia and the United States agreed that it is not appropriate to link Islam to terrorist acts.