114. Letter From President Ford to Saudi King Khalid1

Your Majesty:

I wish to express to you directly my personal admiration for Saudi Arabia’s demonstration of responsible leadership at the OPEC Ministerial Conference in Doha.2 While I continue to fear that even a modest increase may lead to unfortunate setbacks among developed and developing economies, your own example of restraint was most commendable and, I am sure, very difficult under the circumstances.

I regret that most of the other OPEC nations were not motivated by the same sense of shared concern for the health of the world economy upon which we all depend. However, Your Majesty’s determination to stand firmly against the many pressures for a larger price rise and to increase your country’s oil production has made an important contribution to the cause of international cooperation which is an important goal for both our nations. It has also moderated significantly what could otherwise have been a dangerous blow to the world economy at a particularly difficult time.

I know that my feelings are shared by countless Americans and others throughout the world who see in your decision a further example of the responsible approach to world problems which has been a characteristic of Saudi Arabian foreign policy and which has so ably and conscientiously been maintained under your leadership. I am confident that the United States will, for its part, continue to work closely with Your Majesty’s Government for the solution of global economic problems within a framework of cooperation between developed, oil-producing and developing nations. The United States will also continue to work with Saudi Arabia as it pursues its efforts to bring about further progress in this coming year toward our shared objective of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

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In closing, I wish to reaffirm my appreciation for Your Majesty’s wise leadership and for the contributions which you and Your Majesty’s Government have made to the enhancement of relations between our two countries—a relationship of such immense importance to regional and world peace and stability. May Your Majesty continue to enjoy the fullest blessings of health, happiness and prosperity in the future.

With warm good wishes,

Gerald R. Ford
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 4, Saudi Arabia—King Khalid. No classification marking. Ford sent a similar letter to UAE President Zayed on the same day. (Ibid., United Arab Emirates—President Zayid bin Sultan al-Nuhayan) Scowcroft informed Ford in a December 29 memorandum that the Department of State recommended sending the letters. Scowcroft concurred with the recommendation, noting: “This would be both a useful political gesture, wrapping up the efforts we made to help the moderates hold the line at the Doha meeting, and a further vehicle for reassuring both leaders of our respect and admiration for the decision they took against the majority vote of OPEC.” (Ibid., NSC Middle East and South Asian Affairs Staff: Convenience Files, Box 36, Middle East—Oil (7))
  2. See Document 113.