Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal discussed the strategic Saudi-US partnership in separate remarks at the Houston World Affairs Council and at the Dallas World Affairs Council yesterday.
In his remarks, Prince Turki noted that as the world’s largest producer and exporter and as the world’s largest consumer and importer, Saudi Arabia and the United States have a “natural partnership.”
Saudi Arabia understands its important role as a global energy leader, and is committed to ensuring that the world has an adequate and stable supply of oil. Doing so requires that Saudi Arabia be able to increase its production capacity without jeopardizing the interests of future generations or damaging its oil fields, the ambassador said.
Saudi-US cooperation is greater now than ever, and is particularly necessary in light of the common threat of terrorism, Prince Turki said. One example of such cooperation is the Saudi/US Strategic Dialogue, which is intended to institutionalize relations and deepen strategic and political coordination.
The two nations must also work together to promote peace in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US is the only country that can play a vital role, and President Bush’s commitment to a two-state solution is welcome, Prince Turki remarked.
He discussed Saudi Arabia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), noting that it will help the Kingdom diversify its economy away from oil, stimulate job creation, and accommodate the demands of a growing young population.
Education is a critical part in training young Saudis for life in a modern global economy, Prince Turki noted. To that end, the Saudi government has sponsored scholarship programs for Saudi students to study abroad, many in the US.
The prince also touched on reform in the Kingdom, noting last year’s municipal elections and the fact that more women are being elected to the boards of professional organizations such as the Saudi Engineers Council, the Saudi Journalists Association and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Transcript of Prince Turki's address at the Houston World Affairs Council