The Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
1:05 P.M. EDT
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Good afternoon, everyone. Well, I am pleased to meet, in person, the Crown Prince and to welcome him to Washington. As he and I briefly spoke earlier, the Crown Prince and his family have a longstanding relationship with the United States and with visits to Washington, D.C. So it’s my great honor, Your Highness, to welcome you today.
As many know, for decades the relationship between the United States and Bahrain has been a close and important one.
For the United States, we have valued the relationship on many levels, including that Bahrain is a security partner with the United States and has been host, to that end, to the Fifth Fleet of the U- — and the U.S. Naval Central Command.
Bahrain is also a major ally to the United States and, in particular, a major non-NATO ally. And we have appreciated the strength of that relationship, including in the context of current events.
You have met here many times, and this has been about always renewing and reaffirming the relationship between the United States and Bahrain. We are also, to that end, grateful for your support.
You and I last spoke in September of last year —
CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: Yes, Madam Vice President.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: — when I called to thank you because when we were dealing with challenges, in terms of making sure that it — when we departed Afghanistan, that refugees would be settled and taken care of, Bahrain was the first to respond to our request for assistance and support.
And so, we continue to thank you and the people of your country for doing what you did, which was to act immediately and in a way that had direct impact on so many people.
And today, then, we will continue the work that we have done together as our two nations work in partnership.
Today, we will have a discussion about many issues, including the tragic situation in Ukraine, in terms of Russia’s aggression. We will talk about the challenges posed by Iran and our collective and joint priority around making sure that they do not attain nuclear weapons. And we will talk about the opportunities presented by Bahrain’s leadership and expanding diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel, which we strongly support.
So I am pleased also, as the head of the Space Council, to announce today that Bahrain has joined the Artemis Accords, which is a very important partnership — international partnership, which will be about looking toward the future and the work that we have traditionally done together in the interest of security but also mutual prosperity, but continuing that work in a way that also will be to establish international norms and rules as we go forward.
So, with that, Your Royal Highness, welcome and thank you.
CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: Thank you, Madam Vice President. That was a comprehensive introduction. I am so pleased to be back in a town that I still call home and to reaffirm, as you said, the relationship that exists between our two countries.
We have had formal diplomatic relations for over 50 years, and we’ve had a relationship with the U.S. Navy for over 75. It is the longest-standing permanent basing of any U.S. service in the Middle East.
So, we’ve had a relationship that is decades deep, generations deep. Many of my contemporaries have studied here in the U.S. — U.S. high schools, not least of which — even DoD — Department of Defense high schools.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Yes.
CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: And so, we’re very familiar with the culture, and I think it has served us well over the many, many years — the years during the Cold War and then, subsequently, the War on Terror.
And many of the challenges which we have faced together, we will continue to face together. And I think reaffirming our commitment to an international rules-based order is something —
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Absolutely.
CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: — that is very dear to our hearts. It has protected global security for nigh on 80 years since the end of the World War, and we seek no return to survival of the fittest or chaos.
I’ve had very productive meetings with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State. And to top it off, now I have meetings with you, Madam Vice President, and I look forward to discussing all of the things that you did mention.
So, once again, it is a great privilege and a great honor to be here, and thank you very, very much for receiving me.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you. I look forward to our discussion. Thank you, all.
END 1:10 P.M. EST