Richard Nixon photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With Arab Foreign Ministers

October 17, 1973

Ladies and gentlemen:

The Foreign Ministers and I have had a very good talk discussing all of the aspects of the current situation in the Mideast. I will not go further than that except to say the conversations will continue over at the State Department with Dr. Kissinger, and any statement with regard to the nature of the conversation will be made from Dr. Kissinger.

REPORTER. Will he tell us what was discussed?

THE PRESIDENT. I doubt if there will be a statement, but what I mean is if you have any further questions, you should address them to him.

Q. Will you tell us what general areas were covered?

FOREIGN MINISTER AL-SAQQAF, If I have to say something, we four Foreign Ministers from the Arab world, representing 18 Arab countries, have been received well, and we had a very good exchange of views and discussions with His Excellency, Mr. President Nixon. The meeting and discussions were fruitful, and we think the man who could solve the Vietnam war, the man who could have settled the peace all over the world, can easily play a good role in settling and having peace in our area of the Middle East.

Q. Did you discuss oil, Mr. Minister?

THE PRESIDENT. It wouldn't be fair to ask him questions because he speaks for 18, and I will simply say this in conclusion: that His Excellency, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, has been very generous in his comments with regard to our peace mission. I explained to the Foreign Ministers that in our first 4 years we had the opening to China, we had a new relationship with the Soviet Union, and of course, we brought an end to the war in Vietnam.

I told them that a major goal and an urgent goal at this time which we believe can, will, and must be achieved is a fair and just and peaceful settlement in the Mideast, and we all are dedicated to that goal. Whatever differences we have are with regard to the means, with regard to, of course, certain ends as well, but the goal of a fair and just and equitable peace we all are dedicated to.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

The remarks followed his meeting with 'Umar al-Saqqaf, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia; Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait; Ahmed Taibi Benhima, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco; and Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.

Richard Nixon, Remarks Following a Meeting With Arab Foreign Ministers Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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