Saudi National Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 23, 2009

On behalf of the people of the United States and President Obama, I would like to congratulate the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and the people of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of your national day.

The United States values Saudi Arabia as a close friend and ally. Ever since King Abdulaziz and President Franklin Roosevelt first met aboard the U.S.S. Quincy in 1945, our two nations have been united in a durable and dynamic partnership that is based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Over the years, our friendship has deepened and enhanced the security and prosperity of both our countries.

On this historic occasion, I want to salute King Abdullah for his leadership on key regional and global challenges, from championing the Arab Peace Initiative to working to respond to the international economic crisis. King Abdullah has extended the hand of friendship to people of other faiths. He has provided leadership in developing and strengthening the Kingdom’s institutions, working to diversify the economy, support knowledge-based education, and expand opportunity for women. And he has established a powerful dialogue that seeks to promote the principles of moderation, tolerance, and mutual respect – core values that we all share. These bold steps put Saudi Arabia on a path towards a stronger, more prosperous, and more secure future.

The inauguration of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which promises to become a world class center of excellence, research, and learning, is a testament to the King’s far-sighted leadership. The commitment to learning and research that this new university represents will serve Saudi Arabia well in the future.

And the stronger our partnership, the brighter that future will be for all our people. So let me reaffirm the commitment of the United States to work together to broaden and deepen our friendship with Saudi Arabia, and offer our warmest wishes on this National Day.

PRN: 2009/950