On his recent visit to Riyadh, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the enduring friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, noting their collaboration on a variety of bilateral issues, including energy stability and security, counterterrorism, military planning, and trade and investment. He also spoke of Saudi Arabia’s critical importance to regional matters the two countries are working on together, including, Syria, Egypt, and Iran.
At a press conference with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, Secretary Kerry, on the topic of Syria, voiced appreciation for “Saudi Arabia’s leadership supporting the Syrian Opposition Coalition and its strong commitment to achieving a political solution to the crisis, which, as we have always said, has only one solution, and that is a negotiated political solution.”
The United States “will not stand idly by while Assad continues to use weapons…to kill innocent men, women and children.”
He promised that, while the international community is building momentum for the Geneva II conference, the United States “will not stand idly by while Assad continues to use weapons…to kill innocent men, women and children.” The goal of Geneva II is to establish a transitional governing body with full executive authorities, chosen by the mutual consent of the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the government.
On Egypt, while asserting U.S. commitment to supporting a democratic transition in that country, Mr. Kerry said, “The Egyptian people desperately need economic transformation, and we have agreed, with our friends in Saudi Arabia and with others, to work as hard as we can to help effect this economic transformation so that a difference in the quality of life can quickly, hopefully, come to the people of Egypt.”
On Iran, Mr. Kerry reiterated the position that President Barack Obama “has made clear many times: the United States will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” Regarding negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries over Iran’s nuclear program, Secretary Kerry emphasized that any negotiated solution with Iran must be transparent and verifiable, and said, “Nothing that we are doing with respect to this negotiation will alter or upset…the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.” He also repeated President Obama’s pledge “to defend our friends in this region from any external attack.”
Secretary of State Kerry said, “Time and again, Saudi Arabia has proven to be an indispensable partner, but an indispensable partner that has obviously independent and important views of its own, and we respect that. We look forward to continuing this collaboration to advance our shared security and our shared prosperity.”