Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, in the UN General Assembly on the Terrorist Plot to Assassinate the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 18, 2011


Mr. President, last month the United States disrupted a terrorist plot to assassinate the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States. This plot did more than just target the ambassador of a single country. It struck at one of the most sacred principles governing relations among states: the safety and protection of diplomats. Every single member of the international community has an interest in forcefully condemning such heinous acts.

Given the nature of this plot, it cannot be seen as just a simple criminal act. Attacks on internationally protected persons have long been understood as emblematic acts of international terrorism.

The United States therefore strongly supports and cosponsors Saudi Arabia's draft resolution to deplore this plot. This resolution will send the message that attacks on internationally protected persons are unacceptable. While this resolution expresses our collective abhorrence at the known details of the plot, it also restates and reinforces principles that are essential to the functioning of diplomacy. It is a measured and appropriate response.

A fair and transparent judicial process is now underway in the United States to prosecute one person arrested in connection with this plot. If adopted, this resolution will directly support that process by promoting international cooperation to bring to justice all those who are responsible.

In the meantime, we cannot let this plot go unanswered. To do so would suggest that acts like these are within the bounds of acceptable behavior to resolve international conflicts. Mr. President, I urge all colleagues to vote in favor of this important resolution.

Thank you.


PRN: 2011/255