Secretary of State Kerry Visits Saudi Arabia on Inaugural Trip Abroad

March 4, 2013 - On March 4, 2013, H.R.H. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and H.R.H. Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Foreign Affairs met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on his first trip overseas since taking office last month.  Crown Prince Salman, Prince Saud, and Secretary Kerry discussed a number of issues pertinent to the region and the countries’ bilateral relations including cooperation on security issues and economic diversification.

During a joint press conference, Secretary Kerry reiterated the longstanding relationship between the two countries saying that “I come here today to affirm the strength of this relationship and the importance of it going forward.”  In addition, Prince Saud highlighted “the cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism and its financing and our ability to achieve tangible successes in this regard as we continue efforts at the bilateral and international levels.”  He went on to stress “the close cooperation between the two countries in confronting the global financial and economic crisis and through G20 in which we are members, as well as the efforts to achieve global economic and financial stability.”

The countries’ historically strong relationship has experienced record volumes of trade and investment in recent years and considerable efforts have been made to facilitate visas for durations of time up to five years, which contributes to business relations and communications between the two communities.  Saudi Arabia has also seen a rise in the number of students on scholarship in the U.S., which is up to 70,000 students from 7,000 eight years ago.  The meeting reiterated the relations between the countries and highlights that “on almost every issue of security and of mutual importance in the region…we are working cooperatively in important ways.”

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