News Release

Saudi Arabia Ambassador Meets with First Presidency, Learns about Church Humanitarian Efforts

The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, visited the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

The Ambassador met with the Church’s First Presidency, President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. During the meeting, the group discussed the importance of fostering tolerance and respect for different religions in every nation. The Ambassador commended the Church for its support of religious diversity and invited the First Presidency to visit Saudi Arabia. 

"We had an enriching and soulful discussion about Utah, Saudi Arabia, our message of tolerance and coexistence, and the value of reaching out to different religious communities," Princess Reema said. "We have welcomed many different religious delegations to the Kingdom, where we were able to sit down together and rediscover that what we have in common is much more than what separates us, and that there are many untapped opportunities for working together to make the world a more peaceful place."

Also joining the First Presidency in welcoming Princess Reema were Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Patrick Kearon and Elder Anthony D. Perkins. Later in the day, these Church leaders and their wives hosted a dinner for the Ambassador and her party. 

"We look forward to working with the Ambassador on initiatives to bless the people of Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East area," Elder Bednar said. 

During her visit to Salt Lake City, the Ambassador also visited the Church’s Humanitarian Center, where she learned about the efforts of Latter-day Saints to help those in need around the world. The tour was led by Sharon Eubank, the president of Latter-day Saint Charities and a member of the Church’s Relief Society general presidency.


During the tour Sister Eubank explained how the Church facility helps refugees learn practical skills as they are adjusting to their new lives in Utah. Sister Eubank also explained how Latter-day Saint Charities works with international partners to help refugees around the world, including locations in the Middle East by providing basic necessities, food, water and sanitation and other life-sustaining help.

In addition to emergency response and refugee support, Latter-day Saint Charities has six signature programs that it focuses on throughout the world: clean water and sanitation, wheelchairs, vision care, immunization, food security, and maternal and newborn care. Many of these initiatives are currently active in the Middle East Africa North area, including in Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Kurdistan and Iraq.

“No matter our various beliefs and cultures, we are connected to each other as the family of God,” Sister Eubank said. “Without regard to religious belief or nationality, the goal of Latter-day Saint Charities is to build local capacity and strengthen cooperative relationships. This is accomplished by the training of trainers, mobilizing volunteers, tapping the abilities of recipients and amplifying the efforts of local governments.”

Princess Reema said she was impressed by her visit to the Humanitarian Center.

"I was reassured in the goodness of humanity, and that people, no matter what they believe in, care for one another, especially the most vulnerable among us and in the time of desperate need like a natural disaster," she said. 

Sister Eubank said it is essential for Latter-day Saint Charities to partner with governments and non-profit organizations around the world and told Princess Reema that she looks forward to exploring future opportunities with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The heart of all cooperation starts with personal relationships,” Sister Eubank said. “So, we appreciate the chance to build this relationship with Her Excellency Princess Reema and better understand what we might do together in the future.”

The Ambassador agreed that working together to do good is a common goal.

"I like to think that this visit will be the beginning of a long chapter of cooperation and friendship between Saudi Arabia and the beautiful state of Utah," she said. "Our communities can share many lessons on how to cope with challenges of a globalized world while preserving faith and family bonds. We look forward to working together in the near future."

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