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Visit of Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia - Remarks of the President and the Crown Prince at the Welcoming Ceremony

May 24, 1977

THE PRESIDENT. It is with the greatest degree of pleasure and pride that on behalf of the people of the United States I welcome to our country a good friend who represents a nation that has through the years grown closer and closer to us, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Fahd from Saudi Arabia.

He comes here as one who knows our country, who represents King Khalid, and the son of our long-time friend, his former father, for the first time in many, many years. There was a close relationship built between our own country and Saudi Arabia in 1945 when Former King Ibn Saud met with Franklin Delano Roosevelt on one of our ships.

At that time, there was a meeting of the minds and a recognition of the common goals that bound our countries together.

Under King Faisal, this friendship was strengthened, and now these great leaders have shown again and again that we share a common purpose, that we share a heritage that is completely compatible.

Three years ago, Crown Prince Fahd came here to continue this peaceful pursuit. We know that this is an important period of a search for peace, and our visits today and tomorrow will be designed to accommodate that search in the face of tremendous challenge, but at the same time tremendous opportunities.

We have great trade with each other. We export more than $ 3 1/2 billion worth of American-produced goods to Saudi Arabia, and, of course, we purchase vast quantities of oil from his rich nation. There are more than 30,000 Americans who live in Saudi Arabia and, as a matter of fact, that is more Americans than live in my own home county of Sumter County.

But this growing friendship and interrelationship has provided us with a sense of assurance that the basis for our friendship is sound.

I might say that we share some commitments. We share a common belief in a free enterprise system. We share a special friendship built over a long period of time, and our countries are the centers for deep religious convictions. This, I think, adds a degree of stability and morality to the purposes that our governments espouse.

For all these reasons, I am very grateful to see the leaders of Saudi Arabia and their people playing an increasingly significant role not only in the economic affairs of the world but the political affairs of the world.

I'm grateful that we have this strong tie of commonality, of historical purpose, and a realization that the future requires good leadership.

Prince Fahd, we welcome you to our country, and I look forward to fruitful discussions with you on how we can work together to ensure peace in your own troubled region of the world, and to bring new hope and new vision to all people who look to us for leadership.

Thank you for coming. We are grateful to have you here.

THE CROWN PRINCE. Mr. President, the friendly American people:

I have come from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convey to you, Mr. President, and to the people of America, the warm greetings of His Majesty King Khalid Ibn Abdulaziz and the best wishes of the Saudi people.

It is a great pleasure to find myself in the United States once again, in this great. country, in pursuit of what is good economically, socially for both of our countries, but furthermore for the good of humanity at large.

I consider myself a true friend of the United States of America, of the people of the United States of America, because I have for .a long time cherished the friendly ties that bound me to this great people. And I am particularly happy that I stand here today amongst you surrounded by the evidence of that .auspicious occasion, namely, the election of President Carter as President of the United States of America.

Mr. President, it's a delight to be in your great Nation which has recently celebrated its Bicentennial and to express my great pleasure at meeting with you, Mr. President. I am looking forward to exchanging views aimed at achieving stronger and deeper relations between our two countries which have enjoyed for a long time strong ties of friendship.

Among the foremost issues which are of importance, which I will be discussing with you, Mr. President, is the problem of the Middle East. I would like, if I may, to state things very frankly, to voice my optimism at discussing this issue with you, Mr. President.

This optimism stems from your own views, the wise views that the issue of Palestine is the core of the problem and that it is necessary to create a homeland for the Palestinian people in addition to your urging all concerned to seize upon this opportunity which we now have to reach a settlement lest it get lost.

These attitudes on your part, Mr. President, coupled with the tremendous moral as well as material capabilities at the disposal of the United States of America, make us hope that this problem which has brought many wars and sufferings to humanity is now on its way towards settlement.

At the same time, we share with you, Mr. President, the belief that unless there is a comprehensive and just solution to this problem, it will remain a source of great danger, not only to the area but to the whole world.

Mr. President, we wish nothing more for our area than peace and stability for all concerned. We realize the problems of wars and what wars bring trailing behind them by way of calamities on innocent peoples.

Mr. President, please accept my gratitude and my deep appreciation for this warm reception. Thank you.

In conclusion, I would like to seize this opportunity, Mr. President, to offer sincere greetings to the peoples of the United States of America, and also to turn to the people of Saudi Arabia, seeing between those two peoples the clasped hands of friendship and amity.

The presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of American citizens, a fact to which you referred, Mr. President, is only pleasurable to us. They are our cherished guests and friends. In fact, they are almost in their own country.

In conclusion, thank you very much, Mr. President.

Note: The President spoke at 10:05 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. Crown Prince Fahd Bin Abd al-Aziz al Saud spoke in Arabic, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia - Remarks of the President and the Crown Prince at the Welcoming Ceremony Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243121

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