Related Special Sections
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir met in London today for consultations on regional challenges. In a short press briefing they addressed the importance of Washington and Riyadh working together. Kerry called Saudi Arabia the “linchpin” of American efforts in the region and Al-Jubeir said “the most effective way historically for us to work through these challenges is by our – through our close partnership and alliance with the United States of America.”
We are pleased to provide the brief transcript of their remarks distributed by the State Department.
Remarks With Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Secretary of State
London, United Kingdom
January 14, 2016
QUESTION: Mr. Foreign Minister, are you prepared to resume Syria’s support group cooperation with Iran?
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: We never left the Syria support group meeting. Our relationship with Iran is separate from the relationship with everybody else in terms of the Syria cooperation group. Our objective is to work through the process that was started in Vienna in order to arrive at a peaceful settlement based on Geneva I and the outcomes of the Vienna talks and the most recent United Nations Security Council resolution.
SECRETARY KERRY: Let me just say to everybody we – I’m very appreciative of the Foreign Minister making the effort to be able to be here so we could discuss a lot of issues. We are not finished. We wanted to have a chance to say a word to you. But we’re going to be continuing our conversation. And we agree – first of all, the alliance, the friendship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains a linchpin of our efforts in the region; it’s important. We both agree with that on both sides, and we have a lot of work to do together.
We are in complete agreement about the need to try to resolve the crisis in Syria. We will continue to work on that. We also understand the challenges that the kingdom and other countries feel in the region about interference within their countries. And as President Obama has said, the United States will stand with our allies and friends in the region, and we do. But we also want to see diplomacy work. We want to try to see if there’s a way moving forward to resolve some of these problems without moving to greater conflict. The last thing the region needs is more conflict, and I know the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agrees with that. But there are simple things they would like to see done that help to prevent that. And our job is to work together in order to try to get there.
So we have a lot to talk about. There are too many conflicts, and all of us would like to see a stable, secure, prosperous region in which countries do not interfere in the affairs of other countries.
QUESTION: Are you giving that same message to Foreign Minister Zarif in your calls with him?
SECRETARY KERRY: Of course. We always talk about non-interference, and we talk about peace and stability. And the key is to create the framework within which we’re able to work towards that.
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: I think if you look at – if I may —
SECRETARY KERRY: Please.
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: If you look at the challenges that our region faces, whether in Syria, whether in Yemen, whether terrorism, whether in Iran’s interference in the affairs of the region, there – and whether in Libya – the most effective way historically for us to work through these challenges is by our – through our close partnership and alliance with the United States of America. And it is always when we consult intensely and work very closely together that we’re able to overcome these challenges, as we did the challenge of Saddam Hussein’s occupation – invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990, as we did subsequent challenges, and as we did in terms of the war against terrorism over the past 15 years.
We are both committed to this relationship and we’re both committed to working to broaden and deepen it in all spheres, and we are both committed to dealing with the challenges that our region faces in a way that preserves the interests of our two great nations and contributes to the prosperity, well-being, safety, and security of our respective citizens.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir.
STAFF: Thanks, everyone.
PARTICIPANT: Yes, of course.
FOREIGN MINISTER AL-JUBEIR: What I would like to say is that we condemn the terrorist attacks that occurred in Jakarta and in Pakistan, and we condemn the – but this is, if anything, it should strengthen our resolve to work more effectively together to combat the scourge of terrorism.
SECRETARY KERRY: And I would just – we join in condemning it, but let me just make it clear these acts of terror are not going to intimidate nation-states from protecting their citizens and continuing to provide real opportunity, education, jobs, possibilities of a future. There is nothing in any act of terror that offers anything but death and destruction.
And so we stand together, all of us, united in our efforts to eliminate those who choose terror, and we are absolutely committed to our fight against Daesh, against Boko Haram, against al-Shabaab, and that is the challenge evidently of our times – not state actors choosing to go to war with each other, but non-state actors choosing in lone events to simply go out and destroy, blow up, kill innocent people and leave destruction in their path.
The world will fight against that, the world will not accept that, and we will do what is necessary. We are open to peaceful ways of achieving our goals. Obviously, we’ve proven that again and again and again. But some people, like Daesh, have proven that they offer nothing – no alternative – but their own destruction. They invite it, and believe me, as President Obama said the other day, if that’s the choice they leave us, we’re going to do what’s necessary to protect our people.
STAFF: Great. Thank you, everyone.
Source: US State Department
READ MORE about this topic:
- “Saudi v Iran – 2016″ – SUSRIS Special Section
- Arab League ministers back Saudi Arabia and condemn Iran – BBC – Jan 10, 2016
- Additional measures may be taken against Iran: Jubeir – Saudi Gazette – Jan 9, 2015
Saudi v Iran – 2016 – SUSRIS Special Section
This Special Section contains articles, special reports, videos and more on the escalating tensions and confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran in January 2016, including Riyadh’s cutting of diplomatic ties with Tehran.
- Saudi Arabia v. Iran; Sunni v. Shia – Fareed Zakaria: Global Public Square – SUSRIS – Jan 10, 2016
- For the Record | Arab League Foreign Ministers Meet to Discuss Saudi-Iran Conflict – SUSRIS – Jan 10, 2016
- For the Record | Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir Press Conference – Arab League Emergency Ministerial – SUSRIS – Jan 10, 2016
- For the Record | GCC Foreign Ministers Meet in Riyadh – SUSRIS – Jan 10, 2016
- Council on Foreign Relations President Haass on Saudi-US Relations – SUSRIS – Jan 8, 2016
- Analysis | Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy – CRS – Katzman – SUSRIS – Jan 8, 2016
- Special Report – Media Coverage of Saudi Developments – SUSRIS – Jan 7, 2016
- Saudi-Iran Showdown: Robin Wright Explains It to NPR (Audio) – Jan 7, 2016
- Analysis | The Crises and Instability in the Middle East and North Africa in 2016 – Cordesman – SUSRIS – Jan 6, 2016
- For the Record | State Dept Spokesman on Saudi/Iran/Region Issues – SUSRIS – Jan 6, 2016
- For the Record | State Dept Spokesman on Saudi/Iran/Region Issues – SUSRIS – Jan 4, 2016
- Saudi v Iran Confrontation Analysis – Clemons – SUSRIS – Jan 3, 2016 (Video)
- Breaking – Saudi Arabia Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Iran – SUSRIS – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi v Iran Confrontation | Analysis – Clemons (Video) – SUSRIS – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Arabia Executes 47 Over Terrorism Offenses – SUSRIS – Jan. 2, 2016
- China’s Stake in the Saudi-Iran Clash – The Diplomat – Jan 8, 2016
- Saudi Arabia and Iran Fight for Africa’s Loyalty – BBC – Jan 7, 2016
- The Middle East’s Sectarian Divide on Views of Saudi Arabia, Iran – Pew Research Center – Jan 7, 2015
- There’s Far More to the Saudi Iran Feud Than Sunnis-vs-Shia – Defense One – Jan 7, 2016
- Paranoia and Subversion: US Ambassador on Iran and Saudi Arabia – IranWire – Jan 7, 2016
- Iran Blames Saudi Arabia After Jets ‘Bomb Embassy’ in Yemen – NBC News – Jan 7, 2016
- Anger Grows in Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite Areas After Executions – Reuters – Jan 6, 2016
- Gulf Arab States to Hold Extraordinary Meeting on Iran – Al Arabiya – Jan 6, 2016
- Qatar Recalls Ambassador From Iran – ABC News – Jan 6, 2016
- Jordan Summons Iranian Ambassador Over Saudi Tensions – Reuters – Jan 6, 2016
- Former US Ambassador: What the Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict Means for Stability – Time – Jan 5, 2016
- Behind Stark Political Divisions, a More Complex Map of Sunnis and Shiites – New York Times – Jan 5, 2016
- A Look at Where Countries Stand in Saudi Arabia Iran Dispute – AP – Jan 5, 2015
- Saudi Prince Alwaleed Cancels Plans to Consider Investments in Iran – Reuters – Jan 5, 2016
- Gulf States Guarding Their Interests in Saudi-Iran Rift – The New York Times – Jan 5, 2016
- Why Can’t The US Just Condemn Saudi Arabia’s Executions? – Slate – Jan 5, 2016
- US Fears of Iran-Saudi Arabia Tensions Prompt Outreach by John Kerry – CNN – Jan 5, 2016
- How Saudi Arabia’s Spat With Iran Affects the US – Time – Jan 5, 2016
- Saudi Arabia to Halt Flights, Trade With Iran – Minister – Reuters – Jan 5, 2016
- ‘We Are Not Natural-Born Enemies of Iran’, Saudi UN Envoy Says – Reuters – Jan 5, 2016
- Saudi Executions That Riled Iran Meant as Domestic Message – Bloomberg – Jan 5, 2016
- Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Great Rivalry Explained – BBC News – Jan 4, 2015
- Iran Hard-Liners See Saudi Embassy Attack as a Win-Win. Are They Wrong? – Christian Science Monitor – Jan 4, 2016
- Obama Administration Keeps its Distance From Saudi Arabia-Iran Fight – The Washington Post – Jan 4, 2016
- US Under Pressure to Assure Mideast Allies Amid Iran-Saudi Dispute – Fox News – Jan 4, 2016
- Riyadh’s Message is to Washington as Well as Tehran – Washington Institute – Jan 4, 2016
- As Saudi Arabia Severs Ties With Iran, Questions Loom in Volatile Region – CNN – Jan 4, 2016
- By Cutting Ties With Iran, Saudi Arabia Executed the 48th Terrorist – Al Arabiya – Jan 4, 2016
- Saudi Clash With Iran, Worst Since 1980s, Risks Deeper Conflict – Bloomberg – Jan 4, 2016
- Bahrain, Sudan Cut Ties With Tehran as Crisis Widens in Saudi Iran Split – Washington Post – Jan 4, 2016
- Saudi Arabia Execution: How the World Erupted in Protest – The Independent – Jan 4, 2016
- Saudi Mass Execution Driven by Fear of Sunni Militancy – Thomson Reuters Foundation – Jan 3, 2016
- US Fears Saudi Tensions With Iran Could Affect Fight Against ISIS – The Washington Post – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Iran Amid Fallout from Cleric’s Execution – New York Times – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Arabia severs Iran ties – Arab News – Jan 3, 2016
- Iran warns of ‘divine vengeance'; Saudi Arabia breaks relations – WashPost – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Arabia severs ties with Iran: minister – Reuters – Jan 3, 2016
- Iran: Saudis face ‘divine revenge’ for executing al-Nimr – BBC – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Arabia severs ties with Iran as Mideast protests rate (Video) – CNN – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi: “Iran is last country to talk about terrorism” – Saudi Gazette – Jan 3, 2016
- EU warns new Mideast tension risks Syria peace effort – Reuters – Jan 3, 2016
- Hezbollah chief blasts Saudi execution of Shiite cleric – Daily Star – Jan 3, 2016
- For Iran’s Rouhani, the buck stops somewhere else (firebombing embassy) – Quartz – Bobby Ghosh – Jan 3, 2016
- Iran President Says Saudi Embassy Attack Totally Unjustifiable – AFP – Jan 3, 2015
- Iranian Protestors Damage Saudi Embassy in Tehran After Execution – NBCNews – Jan 3, 2016
- Iron fist against terror – Saudi Gazette – Jan 3, 2016
- Gulf States back Saudi in its fight against “terrorism” – Al Arabiya – Jan 3, 2016
- Iraqi figures urge severing of new Saudi ties over Nimr execution – Newsweek – Jan 2, 2016
- Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Saudi Arabia Executes Top Shia Cleric – BBC News – Jan 2, 2016
- Shi’ite cleric among 47 executed in Saudi Arabia, stirring anger in region – Reuters – Jan 2, 2016
- Factbox – Troubled History of Iran-Saudi Relations – Reuters – Jan 3, 2016
- On the execution of Saudi Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr – Joseph Braude – FPRI – Jan 2, 2016
- Nima al-Nimr…Calling for Incitement from Qom – Asharq Al-Awsat – Jan 3, 2016
- Saudi Executions: Who Were Nimr Al-Nimr and Faris al-Shuwail? – Al Arabiya – Jan 3, 2016
- First Among Equals – Omar Mohamed – Newsweek – Dec 2, 2015
- Iran and Saudi Arabia ramp up hostile rhetoric to new levels – The Guardian – Oct 23, 2015
- “Cut off head of snake” Saudis told US on Iran – Reuters – Nov 29, 2010
- Saudi-Iranian Relations Are Being Restored (1991) – New York Times – Mar 17, 1991
Opened: Jan 3, 2016