(WASHINGTON, DC) – Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today held a joint press conference in Riyadh to discuss issues of mutual interest. During his visit, Secretary Kerry also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
“I am looking forward to working together to continue the support of historical, strong and strategic relations between our two friendly countries, and to confront regional and global challenges of common concern,” said Prince Saud.
“I come here today to affirm the strength of this relationship and the importance of it going forward,” said Secretary Kerry. “During this time of great political transition and uncertainty, we’re working together to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Middle East and around the world.”
Prince Saud noted the increase of trade volume and investment between the two countries to record figures, the rise of Saudi students studying in the United States on scholarship reaching more than 70,000 students, and the success the two countries have had in facilitating visa procedures for their citizens.
Prince Saud and Secretary Kerry discussed both nations’ shared determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon noting while diplomacy is the first and preferred choice, negotiations can’t go on forever. Prince Saud stressed that serious and rational discussions must take place, putting clear commitments in front of everyone.
Both agreed that there is an urgent need to bring an end to the crisis in Syria. Prince Saud confirmed that Saudi Arabia will do everything within its capabilities to help and protect the people of Syria. He stated, “We do believe that what is happening in Syria is a slaughter, a slaughter of innocent people, and we just can’t bring ourselves to remain quiet in front of this carnage. Morally, we have a duty to protect them.”
Other topics mentioned include the cooperation between the two nations in the fight against terrorism, combating the global financial and economic crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and supporting successful transitions in Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.