FROM: STATE DEPARTMENT
Remarks With Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal After Meeting With Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
Secretary of State
King Khalid International Airport
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
January 5, 2014
FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: I’d like first of all to welcome John and his colleagues for this visit. As you can see (inaudible) in Saudi Arabia (inaudible) that we have. And therefore, the meeting was an excellent meeting. It’s a meeting that lasted for three hours, a meeting that realized any bad (inaudible) about the relation that were expressed in many of the media lately. And we covered all of the subjects that we wanted to – or the Secretary wanted to cover from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen, all of the areas the bilateral relations are helping. And there is really no meeting that could have been smoother and more productive than this meeting.
So welcome again, John. I hope you have the same feeling about the meeting that we had. And we wish you God speed.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much, Your Royal Highness. I’m very appreciative to his Majesty King Abdullah for his generous welcome here today, for a meeting that he put on on very short notice. And I’m always grateful to the incredible hospitality of my friend Saud al-Faisal, whose friendship and counsel I value enormously.
I want to thank His Majesty for not just the length of the meeting, but for the quality of the meeting, for the fullness of the exchange of ideas, and particularly for his enthusiastic support for the efforts that are being made with respect to the peace process and the effort to try to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
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.
Today, His Majesty was not just encouraging, but supported our efforts and hopes that we can be successful in the days ahead and believes that this is important for the region and that there are great benefits that will come to everybody if we’re able to be successful. So I will let him and His Royal Highness speak for themselves, but we’re grateful.
And also we discussed Syria, the Geneva II meeting. We discussed Iran and our common interests in seeing Lebanon be able to be stable and unimpeded by the interference of Hezbollah in the conduct of the affairs of state and the ways in which the people of Lebanon would like to be able to live in peace.
So I’m very grateful for a very, very productive meeting and look forward to continuing our discussion when we meet with the Geneva – with the London 11 in Paris and also (inaudible) to the Follow-On Committee to the Arab Peace Initiative. And I thank you very, very much, my friend, for your generous welcome. Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: As you can see, we had a good meeting, and we have future meetings also to continue the exchange of views and various (inaudible) on the peace process. And His Majesty again reiterated the principles of the Arab Peace Plan and agreement (inaudible) come to respond to Palestinian national wishes to receive (inaudible) ultimately.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.