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Fahd Postpones Visit to Washington

December 24, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The visit by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Fahd to the U.S. scheduled for February 19, has been postponed at Fahd’s request and will be re-scheduled “at an early, mutually agreed upon time,” the State Department announced today.

Department spokesman Dean Fischer said the decision to postpone the visit was taken “in the light of current developments in the Middle East in particular and in the world in general.” He said Fahd “determined that these developments require his presence in Saudi Arabia.” Replying to questions, Fischer said he “couldn’t be more specific” about the reasons for postponement but gave some “non-reasons.”

“I don’t have any reason to believe that it has any connection with the Israeli move on the Golan Heights” or “because of any Saudi displeasure with the U.S. attitude toward Prince Fahd’s peace plan,” Fischer said. He added that the “discussions between our governments was not of a specific nature and I think the reasons cited by the Crown Prince were those that we have indicated in the statement.”

Fischer denied that Fahd’s decision was a form of pressure on the U.S. to take a tougher stance toward Israel. He said the decision to postpone Fahd’s trip preceded Syrian President Hafez Assad’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week. “I have no reason to believe there is any relationship between those two events,” he said.

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