Obama and the Saudi King

Could you be more revolted (or unsurprised)?

Remarks by President Obama and His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Before Meeting

I always value His Majesty’s wisdom and insights, and we have had a very productive session speaking about a whole range of issues that relate to both relations between our two countries but also issues of prosperity and security around the globe.

We talked about our joint interest and work together in combating violent extremism.  And we talked about a range of strategic issues, including issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan; Iran and its attempts to develop nuclear weapons capacity.  We discussed the Middle East peace process and the importance of moving forward in a significant and bold way in securing a Palestinian homeland that can live side by side with a secure and prosperous Israeli state.

On behalf of the American people, welcome.  We appreciate your friendship.  And we appreciate your good counsel and look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen the strong bonds between our two countries.

The King replied (both are excerpts)

Mr. President, I would like to share with you the views that I have been hearing about you from other — from around the world.  You are an honorable man and you are a good man.  And I don’t say this in order to compliment you — I say this because this is the truth as I hear it from people around the world.

And I would like to say to the friendly American people that the American people are friends of Saudi Arabia and its people, and they are friends of the Arab and Muslim people, and they are also friends of humanity.

Mr. President, I would like to point to the historic ties of friendship between our two nations that began with the meeting that you pointed to, the meeting between the late King Abdul-Aziz and the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Over the past seven decades, the relationship has grown stronger and broader and deeper, and we appreciate all that you personally have done to further broaden and deepen and strengthen this relationship.  And I hope that you will be able to continue to work with us on improving this relationship for many more years.


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