THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
September 8, 2014
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco’s Visit to Saudi Arabia
Following her September 6 visit to Sana’a, Yemen, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco traveled to Saudi Arabia and Jordan from September 7 – 8 at President Obama’s request to consult with key allies in the region about the evolving threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to build stronger regional partnerships to combat the group.
In separate discussions with senior Saudi and Jordanian military, security, and diplomatic officials, Ms. Monaco indicated that ISIL poses a serious and immediate threat to the people of Iraq, including U.S. personnel there, and a growing and dynamic threat to the broader region. She also stressed that if left unchecked, ISIL poses a potential threat to the U.S. homeland. In the near-term, Ms. Monaco emphasized the importance of blunting ISIL’s territorial advances while at the same time supporting the formation of an inclusive Iraqi government and fostering Sunni support for countering ISIL on their own territory. She highlighted the need to forge a coalition to counter ISIL by implementing a strategy that harnesses all elements of national power — military, law enforcement, economic, diplomatic, intelligence, and humanitarian assistance — in coordination with countries in the region. Ms. Monaco underscored the President’s intent to go after ISIL members and assets wherever they are located and signaled U.S. resolve in leading an international coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat the group.
Ms. Monaco reiterated the President’s appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s pledge of $500 million to help alleviate the suffering of all displaced Iraqis. She thanked Jordan for hosting over 600,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the violence in their own country and stressed the ongoing U.S. commitment to provide humanitarian support to Jordanian host communities and refugees. She reaffirmed the strong friendship and strategic partnership of the United States with Saudi Arabia and Jordan and pledged to continue consulting closely with both governments on the shared threat from ISIL.