Prince Saud confirms strength of U.S.-Saudi relationship

January 6, 2014

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al -Faisal and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting in Riyadh yesterday, after which they delivered press statements.

Prince Saud welcomed the U.S. Secretary of State and his accompanying delegation. He stated, “I would like to praise the strong relations between our two friendly countries. The three-hour meeting was distinctive and smooth, and this refutes all analyses, comments and leaks that have addressed Saudi-U.S. relations recently, to the extent that they described these relations as deteriorating and passing a critical and dramatic stage.”

Reviewing the agenda of his talks with Secretary Kerry, Prince Saud said, “The meeting discussed regional and international issues of common interest, particularly issues relating to Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. We also discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The views are identical about the need to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in accordance with the principles of international legitimacy and resolutions, the principle of land for peace, and the Arab peace initiative.”

For his part, Secretary Kerry thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for his hospitality. He said that during his meeting with the Saudi monarch, efforts to find a permanent solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were discussed. Secretary Kerry said, “As everybody knows, His Majesty King Abdullah took the initiative to put on the table, in 2002, a very courageous effort for peace, and it is known as the Arab Peace Initiative. That initiative has been part of the framework that we have been piecing together, both in inspiration and substance. And I’m grateful that the Arab League as a whole and Saudi Arabia individually have been significantly involved in helping to build support for this effort and in following through on their own initiative.”

The U.S. Secretary of State said that his discussions with Prince Saudi involved a number of topics, including Syria and the Geneva II conference, the Iranian nuclear issue and the threat posed to Lebanon by the actions of Hezbollah.

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