Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz yesterday received United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who left Riyadh today after a two-day visit to the Kingdom. Secretary Cohen was also received yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
During his visit, Secretary Cohen held talks with Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who welcomed him, saying that such exchanges serve the common interests of the two countries and peoples as well as promoting fraternity and peace in the region.
At a joint press conference yesterday, Prince Sultan reported that their talks covered Saudi-U.S. cooperation and the transfer of modern technology for the Kingdom's benefit. He dismissed the idea that U.S. forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia, saying any American serviceman here is linked to UN surveillance operations of Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
To a question on Russia's proposal for a military and security body comprising the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plus Iran and Iraq, Prince Sultan declared: "This topic has never been put officially to us. Russia is a powerful country and has the right to say anything and it is the second peace sponsor, but I think this is not a practical suggestion." He added that Iraq must abide by the UN Security Council's resolutions.