On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on your national day this September 23.
King Abdullah’s leadership on key challenges, from developing the Kingdom’s institutions and economy to establishing an enduring dialogue promoting moderation and tolerance, has put Saudi Arabia and the region on a path towards a stronger, more prosperous, and more secure future. We also honor King Abdullah’s steadfast support for the Arab Peace Initiative. This groundbreaking initiative provided a far-sighted vision for comprehensive regional peace when the King first proposed it. As we continue working to support direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the principles enshrined in the Arab Peace Initiative are more important than ever.
Our cooperation ranges from science and technology to health and safety – including raising awareness of breast cancer and helping Hajj pilgrims stay healthy – to trade and investment and our shared goal of expanding opportunities for women and youth. We are also working to increase opportunities for student exchanges and to strengthen our educational partnerships, something I discussed with King Abdullah in depth on my visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this year and with the women of Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah.
As we join in celebrating this special day, we reaffirm the commitment of the United States to broaden and deepen our partnership with Saudi Arabia in the years to come. I wish all Saudis a safe and joyous National Day.