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Unformatted text preview: Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 10 Personal Commitment and Shared Values: A New Chapter for US-Saudi Relations Ford M. Fraker United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ince the historic meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and His Majesty King Abdulaziz Al Saud aboard the USS Quincy in 1945, the US- Saudi relationship has grown and strengthened, though we weathered a difficult period immediately post 9/11. However, we have passed through this challenge, and our relationship is now embarking on an exciting new chapter. Historic visits, first by Mrs. Laura Bush, then by President George W. Bush, gave new momentum to joint initiatives. New progress is building on the fine work we have pursued over many years. I am proud to lead our mission into a new era marked both by close, personal bonds and a shared, future-oriented vision. Personal Contacts Cement a Common Vision The October 2007 visit of First Lady Laura Bush to the Kingdom truly captivated the hearts and minds of Saudis. Her mission here, to launch a breast cancer awareness and research partnership, instantly earned her admiration from Saudis who appreciated the high-level support for an important humanitarian cause. Mrs. Bush’s introduction to the Arab world through an Al-Arabiya interview in Riyadh, together with a highly publicized photo of her trying on a headscarf gift, won over the Saudi public. This personal, extremely well-received introduction set the stage for her husband’s January 2008 visit. President Bush’s January visit with King Abdullah clearly showed the warmth and strength of the personal friendship between our leaders. The President and the King spent two unseasonably chilly days cementing their warm relationship, and pushing forward a shared vision of continued cooperation on economic issues, anti-terrorism and security initiatives, civil society reforms, and educational exchange and partnership. A steady stream of US government visitors, including the Vice President in March and several cabinet members, has continued and accelerated the pace of progress in so many areas. Key relationships have become the touchstone of our new era, and our colleagues at the working levels are ensuring the dynamism is taken to the front lines of our relations....
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- Fall '11
- Saudi Arabia