Carter's Remarks on Visit of Crown Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia
(May 25, 1977)
THE PRESIDENT. We have enjoyed having you. Thank you again. Good luck to you. You have been very helpful to us.
Q. Mr. President, can you tell us anything about this visit?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, it was a very fruitful discussion. At the Crown Prince's suggestion, we divided up into groups this morning for a very deep discussion of some of the major issues that bind us together. The Crown Prince and I were alone, and then Secretary Vance had a chance to meet with Prince Saud, who is a foreign minister. And I think that was a much more productive arrangement than we've had in the past.
THE PRESIDENT. But we discussed a wide range of issues, including future oil pricing prospects and the interrelationships between the OPEC nations and the countries in Africa. We discussed the Horn of Africa and how to keep the Red Sea region peaceful. We discussed the hopes or possibilities for a Middle Eastern peace settlement this year. We had a long discussion about our own involvement in this process.
I think that we understand each other very well. And so far as I know, between ourselves and Saudi Arabia there are no disturbing differences at all. So, I think that I have benefited greatly from those meetings.
The Crown Prince will now meet with the Senate Committees on Energy and Foreign Relations and also with the House Committees. And I think that his total visit here has been one that's very productive.
Q. What did you agree on on oil prices?
Q. What did he say about the oil prices?
THE PRESIDENT. I would have to let him make comments on that.
THE PRESIDENT. Just pleasure at the progress that has been made there within the last 12 months.
Q. Was there ever any mention of the threatened embargo which we heard about last weekend?
THE PRESIDENT. No, there's no threatened embargo at all. He said that was a completely false report.
Q. What did he ask you to say to Israel?
THE PRESIDENT. Just to continue a search for peace and keep the process alive to make sure that no one closes the door for a settlement that would provide a just and lasting peace. He also expressed his strong hope that Israel would be reassured about the inclinations of his country towards the protection of their security. These were the comments that he made concerning--about his view
Q. Do you feel he expects you to pressure Israel in any way?
Q. Do you think that Begin would close the door?
THE PRESIDENT. I think he shares my views that it's too early to comment on the future policies of the new government. No one knows the composition of it yet. And I think it would be premature to comment.
Q. In your public statements so far you haven't mentioned the 1977 Geneva conference possibilities or a Palestinian homeland.
Q. He mentioned it yesterday at the hand-out.
Q. Not publicly.
Q. That's a public hand-out. It was placed right in your hand.
Q. Are you going to visit us in the Middle East, Mr. President, this year?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, some day, I hope. I'm not much on foreign travel. I don't know.
Q. After each one of these meetings you usually think you are more optimistic or less. What is your impression now?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, it's hard to tell. I think a lot of the uncertainty there is involved in the recent election results in Israel. There's no way to predict what the formation of the government might be yet or what their policies might be after they are ultimately evolved.
So, that is not encouraging or discouraging. But it's much more difficult to predict at this point.
Q. Could you tell us how your views have evolved on the Palestinian homeland as a entire state or as part of the Jordanian state?
THE PRESIDENT. No, my views are not firmed on what the composition of the Palestinian homeland might be. But all of the United Nations resolutions have contemplated a homeland for the Palestinians. And this is obviously something that will have to be accommodated.
REPORTER. Thank you.
Source: The American Presidency Project