Crown Prince outlines vision towards a shared future

Pivotal partnership


Saudi Gazette report

CROWN Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, hailed the strong and solid relations between the Kingdom and the United States that has bound the two great nations over several decades. In his first address in the United States after becoming the Crown Prince, he stressed, “the breadth and history of relations, our common values and goals,” outlining his vision towards a shared future.

Speaking at the KSA-USA Partnership event, the Crown Prince stated the Kingdom is in a phase of change, while stressing that this is the phase to grab opportunities for which “we aspire to work together with our partners.”

The Saudi Embassy in Washington organized this first annual dinner party to celebrate the Saudi American Partnership at Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC on Thursday evening. The speakers at the event titled “Together we prevail” recollected remarkable events and shining examples of over 80 successful years of strong partnership between the two countries.

The embassy said on its official Twitter account that the annual event will help celebrate more than 80 years of solid partnership with the US. “The first annual Saudi-US Partnership dinner solidifies our two countries’ historic relationship. Together, we have overcome countless challenges, and shared many victories,” it said.

It added, “We celebrate our long standing bond with the United States, as we acknowledge the future of our two nations in light of Crown Prince Muhammad’s Vision 2030, paving the way forward towards continued prosperity.”

Commending the historic ties with US, the Crown Prince said: “Our relationship with the United States is fundamental to security in the Middle East, and we are grateful for your support in building a better future together.”

He emphasized that the Kingdom, in partnership with US, would continue its fight against extremism and terrorism. He specially mentioned the community partnership with the presence of large number of Saudis on the American soil.

Washington DC witnessed the celebration of the profound partnership between Saudi Arabia and America. Speakers at the grand function, celebrating the historic Saudi-US relations, spoke about the fast growth and development achieved in the bilateral ties and cooperation especially in the field of defense, combating terror, besides unveiling the remarkable features of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Addressing the gathering, Prince Khalid Bin Salman, Saudi ambassador to US, said: “Just as America’s public and private sectors have played a pivotal role in the Kingdom’s modernization after the discovery of oil almost eight decades ago, the US will have a major role in achieving our vision.”

“Our partnership is a force of good, a force for peace, for stability, for international order, and economic prosperity,” he said.

Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, former Saudi ambassador to US, gave a speech highlighting the historic bonds of the friendship. He commended the bold and decisive leadership of the Crown Prince, asserting, “We have the power to shape history, if done together.”

Prince Bandar highlighted the strong bonds of partnership and friendship that were evident more explicitly in the war to liberate Kuwait and in the alliance between US and the Kingdom in the fight against terror.

Prince Bandar said the Crown Prince, who has an ambitious vision and young leadership spirit, is capable of bringing about change. He underscored the significance of learning from history and to work to eradicate hatred and racism, in addition to maintain peace and positivity.

He started his speech saying: ““I will not address you today as ladies and gentlemen but as true friends.” The hall was decorated with the Saudi and US national flags.

Those who attended the session included former US Secretaries of State James Baker and Colin Powell and several other distinguished American politicians and senior officials. The event saw honoring of American veterans who took part in the ‘Desert Storm’ operation that resulted in the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq occupation.

The Crown Prince will now meet in New York next week with top figures from Wall Street and Corporate America, part of a whistle-stop visit to the United States.

Prince Muhammad has lined up stops in Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle to cultivate investments. On Tuesday, he met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Prince Muhammad has won Western plaudits for seeking to reduce his country’s reliance on oil, tackle chronic corruption and transform the Kingdom.

The Crown Prince will take part in the 2018 Saudi US-CEO Forum in New York next Tuesday, the Saudi Embassy said in a statement. As part of the event, he is slated to host a gala dinner.

Others set to attend will include JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, Henry Kravis, who is CEO of private equity firm KKR & Co LP, and Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, sources familiar with the matter said. Two senior executives from BlackRock, Philipp Hildebrand and Mark Wiseman, will attend.

DowDuPont Inc Executive Chairman Andrew Liveris, who is listed as co-chair of the Saudi-US forum, will also be in attendance, according to the forum’s website. Next Thursday, Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman will host an event for the Crown Prince.

A key focus of the Crown Prince’s visit has been any information on the listing of up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco. Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview with Reuters in Washington on Thursday that his country may still move forward with an initial public offering on an international exchange such as London or New York in the second half of 2018, despite previously raising doubts it could be delayed to next year. — With inputs from Reuters