Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, was awarded the Central Intelligence Agency’s George Tenet Medal for his relentless counterterrorism efforts and commitment to international peace. The medal was presented to him by the CIA Director Mike Pompeo at a reception following their meeting in Riyadh on Friday.
In expressing his appreciation for the honor, Prince Mohammad stressed that the medal is a symbol of the commitment, hard work and policies of the leaders of Saudi Arabia, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Saudi security forces, and cooperation by the entire community.
“We, God willing, continue to confront terrorism and extremism everywhere, and with thanks to God we have managed to thwart many terrorist plots,” he said. “We are surrounded by areas of conflict, and we were the first [nation] affected by terrorism from various sources, but we are equipped to combat terror in any place and under any circumstances.”
Prince Mohammad also stressed that the fight against terrorism is a shared international responsibility.
“Combating terrorism is an international obligation that requires global cooperation in efforts, at all levels, to confront it, in security, intellectually, in the media and militarily, remembering that such a cooperation shall be in accordance with the rules of international law and the founding principles of the UN, the first of which is equality of sovereignty,” he said. Prince Mohammad said that “terrorism has no identity and no religion,” noting that religious, political and social groups that exploit faith as a pretext for extremism and violence have no legitimate relationship with the teachings of the religion, with which they seek to associate themselves.
In response to a question on Saudi-U.S. relations, Prince Mohammad reiterated the long-standing Saudi view that the strong ties between the two countries have great strategic value and constitute a force for peace and stability in the world. He said that attempts to drive a wedge between the two countries will fail.
“Our relationship with the United States is historical and will continue to succeed,” he said.