U.S. mayoral delegation meets with Saudi officials

October 18, 2011

Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah bin Ahmed Zainal Alireza received a delegation comprised of the five U.S. mayors in Riyadh on Saturday. During the meeting, the two sides discussed enhancing Saudi-U.S. trade and industrial relations. The delegation, under the auspicate of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, are touring the Kingdom in the company of officials from the Saudi Embassy in Washington. Besides meeting with senior government officials, they will meet with business leaders and visit historical and cultural sites, as well developmental and economic projects.

The delegation is composed of Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minnesota; Mayor Arlene Mulder of Arlington Heights, Illinois; Mayor John Callahan of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina; and Mayor Brenda Lawrence of South Field, Michigan.

The mayors were received on Saturday by Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdulaziz, with whom they discussed the Kingdom’s recent municipal elections. The delegation met on Sunday with Riyadh Mayor Prince Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf and President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. Yesterday, the mayors visited Assistant Speaker of the Majlis Al-Shoura (Consultative Council) Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Barrak, who gave a briefing on the workings of the assembly and discussed the effect of King Abdullah's announcement that Saudi women will be appointed to the Majlis Al-Shoura and will be allowed to participate in future municipal elections.

The delegation held a meeting in Jeddah today with members of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), including Vice President of JCCI Dr. Lama Al-Suleiman and Secretary General of the Chamber Adnan Mandourah. Following the meeting, the delegation called for more concerted efforts by both Saudi and American businessmen to exploit the promising investment opportunities, in the Kingdom as well as the U.S.

This evening, Saudi businessman Khalid Alireza hosted a dinner in honor of the delegation which was attended by business and community leaders in Jeddah.