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Furthers Strategic Energy Dialogue between the Nations and Highlights U.S. - Saudi Scientific Innovation

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today continued his six-nation visit to the Middle East and Europe with a two-day stop in Saudi Arabia where he met with Saudi Arabia's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi to discuss joint energy cooperation.  Secretary Bodman also toured the King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and will tour the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology during his visit.

"The United States and Saudi Arabia enjoy a relationship of global importance and I am pleased to return to discuss opportunities to increase energy investments, further our scientific innovation through research and development, and deploy cleaner, more efficient technologies on a global scale," Secretary Bodman said.  "Together we must work to keep markets well-supplied to meet rapidly growing demand and foster a favorable investment climate to develop and expand energy resources."

During his meeting with Minister Al-Naimi, Secretary Bodman praised the Saudi's efforts to enhance, protect, and modernize its energy infrastructure and discussed Saudi Arabia's plans to expand oil production capacity.

Among his first activities in Saudi Arabia, Secretary Bodman spoke with members of the American Business Group in Riyadh, which is a member of the American Business Council of the Gulf Countries, the umbrella organization of American Chambers in the Persian Gulf.  The Secretary spoke about the importance of a cooperative global approach to increasing energy security.  Secretary Bodman also toured the King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology, which is the home of nuclear and alternative energy research for Saudi Arabia.

Tomorrow, the Secretary will travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to tour the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which when completed in September 2009, will be an international co-educational graduate-level research university that will apply science and technology research to energy resources and the environmental challenges; biosciences and bioengineering; materials science and engineering; and applied mathematics and computational science.

Saudi Arabia is the second stop in Secretary Bodman's ten day, six-nation visit to the Middle East and Europe.  Prior to arriving in Riyadh, Secretary Bodman visited government officials and business leaders in Jordan.  He will also travel to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt, to continue dialogues with global leaders, enhance the United States' relationship with energy-producing nations, promote sustained investment in conventional and alternative energy sources, and encourage improvements in global energy efficiency through breakthrough technologies.  Before returning to the United States, Secretary Bodman will participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940