Saudi envoy says historic relations with US nurtured by Democrats and Republicans

Prince Khalid bin Salman arrives on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on July 24, 2017.

:: Seldom in human history do countries embark upon a resolute course correction to recalibrate a national economy and expand societal norms — without comprising religious sensibilities, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, has said.

In a Washington Post column, he said that this is precisely what Saudi Arabia is attempting to do. “For decades, the Kingdom lived according to social and cultural norms that went unchallenged, thus inhibiting our progress. But our leaders have set a new course that aims to transform our economy and society, and unlock our untapped potential,” he wrote in the column.

“We are expanding women’s rights, improving services for Muslim pilgrims and investing in megaprojects across various industries. We are opening our country to tourism, creating a domestic entertainment industry, and promoting Saudi heritage and culture,” he wrote in the column.

Relations with US

According to him, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Washington is intended to reinforce Saudi Arabia’s already strong partnership with the United States, building on the 2017 Riyadh summit, which elevated our countries’ relationship.

“But, the crown prince is not just here to talk politics; he is also here to talk business, specifically the bilateral investment opportunities made possible by his diversification strategy. The crown prince’s multi-city tour will lay the ground work for Salman’s visit to the United States later this year,” he wrote in the column.

He said that the historic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States stretches back decades, nurtured and safeguarded by both Democrats and Republicans. “It was born in the aftermath of World War II, sustained during the Cold War and reinforced during Operation Desert Storm,” he added.

Security and education

Prince Khalid bin Salman said that the security cooperation between the two countries includes shared efforts against terrorism, including intelligence sharing and joint counterterrorism ventures such as the Global Center for Countering Extremist Ideology, or Etidal.

“On the educational front, thousands of Saudi students have studied in the United States over the decades. Economically, Saudi businessmen have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the United States, across various industries including technology, real estate and infrastructure,” he said.

He also said that President Trump’s decisions, particularly in the area of fighting extremism and pushing back on the malicious influence of Iran, are having an effect. The Kingdom’s leaders and the Trump administration continue to build and strengthen the framework of a bilateral relationship that facilitates interagency cooperation

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