(MENAFN - Arab News) The us consulate in jeddah celebrated the country's 238th independence day on wednesday with saudi officials and diplomats from other countries.
anne casper the consul general said the consulate decided to celebrate early because many people travel abroad in july for their vacations. independence day is on july 4 every year.
the event was attended by timothy a. lenderking deputy chief of mission at the us embassy in riyadh and mohammad ahmed tayeb director general of the saudi ministry of foreign affairs makkah region who was the guest of honor.
a colorful ceremony was presented by the marine security guard detachment. casper said the event was held to celebrate the founding of america. it was "the day our founding fathers publicly declared our independence.
they thought to create a constitution a perfect union based on the values of equality freedom and justice" she said. she said america was strong because it was a land of diversity opportunity and optimism.
she said it was also an occasion to celebrate 80 years of diplomatic relations between the united states and saudi arabia. 'we also take this opportunity to appreciate the long-standing friendship between america and saudi arabia.
this year the unique theme to highlight was vlunteerism." lenderking also highlighted the relationship between the kingdom and the us. 'our friendship with saudi arabia is one of the closest and most valuable in the region and indeed in the world. i still marvel at the photo of king abdulaziz and american president franklin d. roosevelt on board uss quincy in 1945.
and when president obama visited riyadh three weeks ago i realized that the promises and the commitment that iconic photo presents still nourishes and inspires this relationship" he said.
he said the consulate in jeddah processed 47000 visas for saudis visiting the us last year and said there are 83000 saudi students studying in the us this year.
tayeb said the relationship between the two countries is based on common values and mutual understanding and time-tested over 80 years.
he highlighted the peace initiatives of custodian of the two holy mosques king abdullah including the interfaith dialogue introduced to help people across the world resolve disputes. he said king fahd had also launched peace initiatives during his reign.
'this excellent relationship can't be built up by leaders only the people-to-people relationships are also important. saudi students are studying in 30 different countries but the largest number is in america" he said.