RIYADH: US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz on board the USS Quincy in 1945.
His remarks can be read below:
“Thank you all for joining us this evening. Welcome to Quincy House. Exactly seventy-five years ago, two great leaders met aboard the USS. Quincy.
“President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz met to chart the future of our bilateral ties. This first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership the United States and Saudi Arabia share today.
“Beyond partnership, President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz forged a personal friendship that is at the heart of the strong ties our two countries share today.
“As we mark this important anniversary, I particularly want to welcome our guest of honor, the governor of Riyadh, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Thank you, your highness, for joining us in our celebration today. Let me also welcome His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Faisal binTurki who served as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in the United States. He was instrumental in strengthening our ties and advancing our mutual security and prosperity.
“I am also honored to welcome and recognize Mr. Hassan Yassin, who as a young boy was present onboard the USS. Quincy and witnessed the meeting between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz. His father, Yusuf Yassin, provided valuable counsel to KingAbdulaziz during this pivotal meeting and the early stages of our growing partnership. We are grateful that Hassan followed in his father’s footsteps and spent many years in the United States advancing our shared goals and building our friendship.
“It is also important to recognize the representatives of forty-four companies who have generously assisted to make this wonderful celebration possible.
“The historic meeting aboard the USS. Quincy launched a partnership that has brought our people together to deliver an unprecedented record of successes. Americans and Saudis built the global energy system that has been so crucial to the steady growth of the world’s economy. During the Cold War, we stood together against Communism and Soviet aggression.
“In 1991 our joint forces liberated Kuwait. We have stood shoulder to shoulder to oppose threats to the region, especially terrorism. Our citizens have learned from one another through a rich slate of exchange programs. Hundreds of thousands of Saudis have visited, studied, and worked in the United States.
“Similarly, hundreds of thousands of Americans have undertaken pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina and have worked in the Kingdom to build our strong business, educational, and security ties.
“And we continue to work together. American companies are working to ensure the success of Vision 2030. Our militaries work together to bring stability and security to the region, even as Iran continues its campaign of aggression.
“As many of you may have heard, we recently launched the Quincy College Preparatory Scholarship program to help young Saudis interested in pursuing college education in the United States. Thanks to Saudi Arabia’s new visa regulations, more Americans than ever are visiting Saudi Arabia as business representatives, thought leaders, tourists, scholars, artists, athletes, and competitors.
“I am confident that this is just the beginning. The future of our two great countries and our bilateral ties is indeed bright. Thank you for being our guests here tonight, and for your friendship. Please enjoy the evening and help us launch the next 75 years of the US-Saudi partnership.”