Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that despite friction in the two countries' relationship, both remain solid partners.
"Saudi Arabia and the US have a long history of cooperation and certainly we've gone through ups and downs," said Prince Turki Al-Faisal. "This is the nature of any relationship. ... Ultimately we see the real reasons for the relationship: Quite simply, we work well together."
The ambassador, who was appointed July 20, spoke during a Tuesday luncheon of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Atlanta was his first stop in a series of visits to US cities planned by the ambassador. He said his charge from King Abdullah, who took the throne in August after the death of his half brother Fahd, was to "be frank" with Americans.
But he said terrorists have tried to form a wedge between the two countries, particularly through using 15 Saudis as airplane hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
But he said his country's introspection after the attacks has led to reforms in education, religion and the "way we deal with others."