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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Remarks by President Obama and Crown Prince bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia

Oval Office

11:16 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:   Well, it’s wonderful to welcome back the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef, as well as Deputy Crown Prince Salman.  We are very pleased to have them both here today, as well as the delegation from Saudi Arabia.

As all of you are aware, the United States and Saudi Arabia have an extraordinary friendship and relationship that dates back to Franklin Roosevelt and King Faisal, and we are continuing to build that relationship during a very challenging time.

This gives us an opportunity to discuss some of the bilateral issues, including the crisis in Yemen and how we can build on the ceasefire that’s been established to restore a process for an inclusive, legitimate government inside of Yemen.  And it will also give us a chance to discuss some of the broader issues that will be the topic of the GCC-U.S. Summit tomorrow. 

I can say that, on a personal level, my work and the U.S. government’s work with these two individuals, Crown Prince bin Nayef, on counterterrorism issues has been absolutely critical not only to maintaining stability in the region but also protecting the American people.  And I want to thank them for their extraordinary support and hard work and coordination on our counterterrorism efforts.  And they came in as a critical component of our coalition in the fight against ISIL, and I’m sure that we’ll have opportunities to discuss as well the progress that’s been made in the fight against ISIL in Iraq, as well as the continuing crisis in Syria, and the importance of us addressing not only the humanitarian crisis but the need to bring about a more inclusive and legitimate government there.

Well, I just thank you so much for your presence here today and for your longstanding friendship.

CROWN PRINCE BIN NAYEF:  (As interpreted.)  I would like to thank the President for your kind invitation extended to me and to His Royal Highness, the Deputy Crown Prince.  I wish to convey to you the greetings and appreciation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, who attaches -- along with everybody in the Kingdom -- great importance to the strategic and historic relationship between our two countries.

This historic relationship we seek to strengthen and broaden and deepen with time.  Mr. President, you spoke about the situation in the region, and we look forward to, God willing, to working with you to overcome the challenges and to bring about calm and stability in the region.

Once again, Mr. President, I want to thank you for this meeting.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you, everybody.

Q    Mr. President, what do you plan to tell the GCC leaders about Iran and the nuclear deal?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  We’ll have a whole press conference, Julie.  You’ll get all kinds of questions.

Q    I’m holding you to that.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you, guys.

11:22 A.M. EDT