President Bush to visit Saudi Arabia tomorrow

May 15, 2008

US President George W. Bush will arrive in Saudi Arabia tomorrow for a two-day visit to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formal establishment of Saudi-US relations.

It is President Bush’s second trip to the Kingdom this year. In January 2008, he paid a three-day state visit to Saudi Arabia for talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on key issues including the Middle East peace process, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and counterterrorism.

The president’s visit to Saudi Arabia comes within a longstanding framework of close relations between Saudi and American leaders. Ever since King Abdulaziz Al-Saud and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met on board the USS Quincy in 1945, every Saudi King has met with the sitting American president, and the tone of their talks has echoed the frank and friendly discussions of King Abdulaziz and President Roosevelt.

President Richard M. Nixon was the first American president to pay an official visit to the Kingdom in 1974. President Jimmy Carter visited Saudi Arabia for talks with King Khalid bin Abdulaziz and then-Crown Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz in 1978. President George H.W. Bush met with King Fahd in Riyadh in 1990 to discuss the liberation of Kuwait, and President Bill Clinton traveled to Hafr Al-Batin for talks with King Fahd in 1994.