My Fellow Americans,
It has been my distinct honor to represent the American people and the United States of America in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Together with all of you – the American Community in the Kingdom – we have strengthened our ties with our Saudi partners and advanced U.S. objectives and priorities in this country and around the region. Your support, tremendous commitment to this bilateral relationship, and warm friendship are among the high points of my and my wife Kathy’s time in Saudi Arabia. We are truly grateful to so many of you with whom we have had a chance to meet – in person and virtually – for the many wonderful memories, which we will carry with us to our home in Nevada.
It is indeed time for Kathy and me to say good-bye to our fellow Americans in Saudi Arabia and wish you a very fond farewell. As our country prepares to inaugurate President-elect Biden, our Mission has been supporting the work of the U.S. government to ensure a smooth transition to a new Administration. At the same time, we have continued our close cooperation with the Saudi government and its people to deepen the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Many of you will recall our celebrations last year in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran of the 75th anniversary of the USS Quincy meeting between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al Saud. This meeting launched an enduring partnership, which continues to underpin our many successful shared efforts to enhance our countries’ prosperity, security, and mutual friendship. Our Mission will carry forward this important work in the months and years ahead with your support. This morning, when I departed Saudi Arabia, Martina Strong, whom many of you know, took over the leadership of our Mission as Chargé d’Affaires.
As always, the protection of our U.S. citizens overseas remains the highest priority of our Mission and the U.S. Government. The dedicated staff at the Embassy in Riyadh and Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are always here to support and assist you. I encourage the American Citizen community to remain mindful about what we can do to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities healthy and safe. More information on COVID-19 and Saudi Arabia can be found on our website. I would also like to remind you all that the Department of State’s travel advisory notes the need to “exercise increased caution in Saudi Arabia.” Here you can find our message on best security practices for U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia.
Thank you all, and especially our citizen liaison volunteers, for your friendship and support.
Farewell and Best Wishes,
Ambassador John Abizaid