Remarks With Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir Before Their Meeting

Remarks
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 23, 2017


FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: Sir.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Welcome to the State Department.

FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: Thank you. It is always a pleasure.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, are you and the Saudis on the same page in the war against ISIS? ISIS, by the way, is now claiming responsibility for the attack in London. And Mr. Minister, we would love your perspective on this.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I think as you saw from our meeting yesterday on the coalition to defeat ISIS, there is great unanimity around the effort to defeat ISIS – not just on the battlefield, but also off the battlefield and around the world. So yes, I would say there’s great unanimity.

FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: I believe that --

QUESTION: What’s your views about --

QUESTION: Could we have Mr. Al-Jubeir – Minister?

FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: I believe that – I – I believe that no two countries are working as closely in fighting terrorism, and in particular ISIS, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States. This has been the case for a number of years. We are intensifying our efforts. The conference that the Secretary hosted in Washington yesterday was a huge success and reinforced the determination of the civilized world to take on this evil and to defeat it, God willing.

We are always looking for ways to become – expand this coalition and to become more effective. Saudi Arabia was one of the founding members of the coalition to defeat ISIS in Syria, and our air force is – has flown the second largest number of sorties over Syria, after the United States.

QUESTION: What’s your views about (inaudible)?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.