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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and an Exchange With Reporters

May 13, 2015

The President. Well, it's wonderful to welcome back the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Nayif, 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 cease-fire 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, and Crown Prince bin Nayif, 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.

So, Your Royal Highness, thank you so much for your presence here today and for your longstanding friendship. Thank you.

Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif. I want 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 bin Abd, 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.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:16 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. He also referred to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif referred to King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif spoke in Arabic, and his remarks were translated by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adil al-Ahmad al-Jubayr of Saudi Arabia.

Barack Obama, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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