Secretary Chu was in Riyadh today on his first stop of a four-day Middle East trip. He met with King Abdullah, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ali Al Naimi and other senior officials. Secretary Chu reaffirmed the United States' commitment to a strong bilateral relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and discussed energy security, alternative energy technologies, climate change, and science and technology issues.
The Secretary began the day with a bilateral meeting with Minister Al Naimi. Topics on the agenda included global energy markets, Saudi Aramco's technology strategy and carbon capture and storage. The Secretary then met with Minister of Water and Electricity Minister of Water & Electricity Abdullah Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Hussayn, discussing water conservation, building energy efficiency and other topics.
Following that meeting, the Secretary delivered a speech at the International Energy Forum Secretariat. The speech highlighted the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and ways in which the countries can work together in the future to diversify their energy mix and address the challenges of climate change. The Secretary then met with Noe Van Hulst, Secretary-General of the IEF, and held a roundtable for local reporters.
In the afternoon, the Secretary traveled to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) where he met with scientists to discuss their work on a range of energy projects. He and KACST President Al Suwaiyel then signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging enhanced cooperation on a range of energy, environmental and scientific and technological issues.
From there, the Secretary traveled to Rawdat Khuraim for a meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah. King Abdullah and Secretary Chu met for several hours, discussing science and technology and other issues.
[Secretary Chu travels tomorrow to Jeddah to visit the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.]