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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2002 > May

Remarks With Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia After Their Meeting

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
May 6, 2002

[audio]

SECRETARY POWELL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's been a great pleasure to receive my colleague, Foreign Minister Prince Saud, here at the State Department. We have been in almost daily touch for the last couple of weeks, really since the meetings in Crawford, Texas, week before last. It's a sign of the close cooperation that exists between the United States and Saudi Arabia and its leadership.

I had the opportunity again today to express to Prince Saud our appreciation for the initiative taken by Crown Prince Abdullah when he put forward his vision, and now that vision has been adopted by the Arab League, and it forms one of the important elements of our strategy of moving forward. President Bush's speech of 4 April, longstanding positions with respect to UN Resolutions 242 and 338, and now the Crown Prince's vision, now the Arab League vision, this all gives us much to work with.

And I indicated to Prince Saud that I look forward to staying in very, very close touch with the Saudi leadership and with other Arab leadership -- the Egyptians, the Jordanians, many others -- as we move forward to see if we can get through this period of crisis. Hopefully the situation in Bethlehem will be resolved in the not-too-distant future, and that will then have the opportunity of completing the Israeli withdrawal.

And we will be looking forward to working with the Saudis and other Arab leaders on all elements of our strategy -- the security dimension of that strategy, the economic dimension of that strategy, but most importantly the political dimension of that strategy. And so it's a great pleasure to again welcome you, my colleague, to the State Department.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. And with the words of the Secretary, the only thing I can say is that we have remained in contact. We are both trying to move the peace process forward. Needless to say, all parties who are involved in this have to do their part in pushing the peace process forward. We hope that the efforts that are being expended to complete the Israeli withdrawal are finalized so that we can move towards the next steps.

And this is the time for all sides to come with a positive attitude to change the circumstances in which the Middle East is going through. The withdrawal is a necessary first step, but the important work is coming after that in the next steps.

SECRETARY POWELL: We're both running against timelines, and I have to give a speech in a few minutes, so we only have time for one or two questions.

QUESTION: On the documents question, Sharon bringing documents tying Arafat directly to terrorism, have those been deposited with the administration?

SECRETARY POWELL: I haven't seen them yet. I'll be meeting with Prime Minister Sharon in about 45 minutes, and I'm sure we'll have a chance to discuss it, and we'll receive the information.

QUESTION: Mr. Saud, what do you think of the American proposal for a Middle East conference of foreign ministers?

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: Well, really, the idea that came out from the quadripartite meeting is being looked at. The conference or a meeting is not an objective in itself; it depends on what that meeting includes, and until these ideas are clear, I don't think we can give an opinion on that. But it is not a bad idea if the content is a proper content.

QUESTION: (In Arabic.)

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: (In Arabic.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Any what?

QUESTION: Any plans to meet with the Israelis while they are here?

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: That's no, nyet and nein.



Released on May 6, 2002

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