John F. Kennedy photo

Toasts of the President and King Saud

February 13, 1962


I know I speak for us all in welcoming you to this country, Your Majesty. I think that all of us remember the dramatic stage in the life of this country at the meeting between President Roosevelt and your father in the Red Sea during the great days of the Second World War. And we also know that you have been a vigilant and courageous defender of your country's sovereignty and independence. You yourself have had a distinguished military record, and come from a race which has been outstanding in the defense of its rights. So that we welcome you, and the members of your family, and the members of your government.

We are most anxious that the ties of friendship which have bound together two countries which are divided by so much water and land, Saudi Arabia and the United States, will remain strong. I can assure you that your visit here and the opportunity that I had to see you in Palm Beach I believe has strengthened relations between us, and also between our countries, and I consider that to be in the security of both, in these very difficult and dangerous days.

So I hope that all of you will join with me in drinking to the people, the government, and to His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia.

Note: The President proposed the toast at a state dinner at the White House. King Saud responded (through an interpreter) as follows:

Mr. President:

I would like to thank you for your kindness and hospitality. And as I said to you earlier today in our meeting, I wish to maintain and even consolidate and strengthen the existing friendly relations between our two countries.

We greatly cherish the friendship which exists between the United States of America and Saudi Arabia--a friendship which is based on principles which recognize the rights of peoples. This we shall seek to strengthen and further in the future.

[Then His Majesty offered a toast to President Kennedy.]

John F. Kennedy, Toasts of the President and King Saud Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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