Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation, yesterday received a red carpet reception on arrival at the Pentagon where he was welcomed by U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry. Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Secretary Perry expressed delight at the current visit of Prince Sultan, who for his part expressed thanks and appreciation to U.S. officials for the cordiality of his reception.
Following his talks with Secretary Perry, which he termed as successful, Prince Sultan stated that their viewpoints on the matters raised were almost identical, and cited the deep-rooted and distinguished ties between the Kingdom and the USA.
In answer to reporters’ questions, Prince Sultan said that Desert Storm had proved the cohesion and solidarity of the Saudi and American troops when they went into battle together. He assured reporters that the fact that there were no American weapons and military equipment on Saudi soil would not affect the close friendship ties between the two countries; in an emergency, there are enough modern and less modern American materiel that could instantly be used with the cooperation of the American friends.
Prince Sultan also stated that details on sale of the U.S.-made passenger planes for the Saudi national airline Saudia would be announced after his meeting with President Clinton.
Last night, Prince Sultan held a dinner banquet in honor of Secretary Perry at the Residence of the Saudi Ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, which was also attended by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.