Remarks by President Obama and His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Before Meeting
2:33 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Hello, everybody. I want to welcome His Majesty King Abdullah to the White House, and I’m very pleased to be able to return the extraordinary hospitality that he showed me and my delegation when we visited Saudi Arabia and when we visited His Majesty’s farm.
Since that historic meeting that took place 65 years ago between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and His Majesty’s father, King Abdul-Aziz, we have had a strong and strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
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.
As representatives of two G20 countries, we also continued the conversation that took place this weekend about how the Saudi government and the United States government can work with our other partners around the world to keep the economic recovery going and to help bring about the strong economic growth that’s necessary to put people back to work.
And we will continue to work together to expand the people-to-people contacts, the educational programs, the commercial ties, the business people who are working together in both countries so that not only do our governments remain strong partners but our people are continually enriching both countries.
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.
KING ABDULLAH: (As translated.) Thank you very much, Mr. President. I believe you have covered everything and left nothing out in terms of our conversation.
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.
Thank you, Mr. President, for a productive meeting. I want to also thank our friends, the American people. And I also would like to thank our friends here in the media. May God spare us from all of the bad things they can do to us. (Laughter.) And may God bless us with all the positive things they can do for us and for humanity.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, that is an excellent prayer. Thank you.
2:42 P.M. EDT