THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Clinton and Saudi Prince Sultan Announce Signing of Saudia Contracts
President Clinton and Saudi Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sultan bin Abdul Aziz met in the Oval office this morning to discuss a range of regional and bilateral issues, including Iraq and the peace process. President Clinton, in particular, welcomed His Highness' announcement that final contracts were signed last night between Saudia Airlines and Boeing and McDonnell Douglas corporations for Saudia's purchase of a new fleet of passenger aircraft.
President Clinton expressed to Prince Sultan his great appreciation for Saudi Arabia's vote of confidence in the quality and competitiveness of America's aerospace industry. Since last year's White House announcement of Saudia's decision to ``buy American,'' the Clinton Administration has worked tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome of contract negotiations. Today's announcement, attended by Commerce Secretary Brown, Transportation Secretary Pena, CEOs of Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and General Electric, and Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan reinforces the strong tradition of U.S.-Saudi cooperation in the field of civil aviation -- only one aspect of a special bilateral relationship dating from President Franklin Roosevelt's meeting with King Abdul Aziz bin Saud fifty years ago this year.
This purchase represents a major success for the American aerospace industry:
Under the terms of the contracts, Saudia will purchase 61 airframes: 28 from Boeing and 33 from McDonnell Douglas. They will be delivered to Saudi Arabia over the next four to five years, with the first aircraft scheduled to enter service in 1997.
The aircraft, which will be built in Washington State and California, will provide work for approximately 100,000 employees at Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and subcontractors throughout the United States.
Major subcontractors include Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut and General Electric in Ohio, which will build engines for the aircraft. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas operations in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Utah will also derive substantial work from the contract.
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