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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Remarks of the President and King Khalid bin Abd al-Aziz AI-Sa'ud at the Welcoming Ceremony.

January 03, 1978

THE KING. Mr. President, I welcome Your Excellency in our country as a great friend, and I thank you for your efforts to find a just and lasting solution for the problem of the Middle East. I wish Your Excellency a pleasant stay in this friendly country and success in your trip and commendable endeavors.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. Alsalamu elkum. Peace be unto you. The primary purpose of my trip and this visit is peace.

The first meeting between the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America was when President Franklin Roosevelt came to the Gulf of Suez to meet with King Abd al-Aziz. This friendship has now grown to encompass the millions of people in our two nations. We work together now, and we plan together for the future. The ties which bind us together are strong and unbreakable.

Although our time here is all too brief, I have already learned much from Crown Prince Fahd, Prince Saud, and other leaders from Saudi Arabia who have recently visited me in my own country. Now I am glad to meet with Your Majesty for close consultation on matters of great mutual interest to our people.

As Your Majesty has already said, a most important subject which will be discussed is the early achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

I recall the traditional Arabic welcome, Ahlan wa sahlan. It is beautiful and simple. And my understanding is that it means, "You are among your own people, and your steps will be unhindered." Seeing the generosity of this welcome, I feel that I am among my own people and know that my steps will not be hindered, because I walk the same path as Your Majesty, King Khalid, toward a common goal of even greater friendship among our people, between our two countries, and of peace for all the people of the world.

Your Majesty, we are glad to be in your great country.

Thank you very much.

Note: The exchange began at 4:17 p.m. at Riyadh Airport. King Khalid spoke in Arabic, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Following the arrival ceremony, the President met with King Khalid at the Royal Guest Palace.

Later that evening, the President attended a working dinner at the King's Palace. Following the dinner, he met with Crown Prince Fahd bin Abd al-Aziz Al Sa'ud, the First Deputy Prime Minister, at the Royal Guest Palace.

Jimmy Carter, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Remarks of the President and King Khalid bin Abd al-Aziz AI-Sa'ud at the Welcoming Ceremony. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/247814

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