Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said, Thursday, that his country is “optimistic about an excellent relationship with the United States under President Joe Biden’s administration.”
This came in statements to the semi-official Saudi “Al Arabiya” channel, excerpts of which were published on Thursday, via its website.
Bin Farhan added that the appointments in the Badin administration “indicate its understanding of the files and common issues between Washington and Riyadh,” without providing details.
He continued, “Our relationship with America is that of institutions and our common interests have not changed.”
And American media reports had expected a “tense relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration, after 4 years in which former President Donald Trump gave Riyadh all support.
Biden promised, during his election campaign, to reassess the relationship with Riyadh and hold it accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside her consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Observers say that the Kingdom is concerned that the Biden administration may backtrack on sanctions against Iran, return to the nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew, and limit arms sales to Riyadh and hold it accountable for the rights issue.
In this regard, bin Farhan said, in his statements to the “Al Arabiya” channel, today: “We will consult with the United States regarding the agreement with Iran; so that it has a strong basis.”
He pointed out that European countries understand that the previous agreement with Tehran contained shortcomings, indicating that it did not include Tehran’s ballistic missile program.
He said, “The weakness of previous agreements with Iran is due to the lack of coordination with the countries of the region, and the Iranian regime must change its ideas and focus on the welfare of its people.”
He continued, “Our hand is extended to peace with Iran, but it does not abide by its agreements,” stressing that Iran’s calls for dialogue aim to procrastinate and escape from its crises.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed Qatar’s call for a comprehensive dialogue in the region between Tehran and the Gulf states.
He added via Twitter: “We have consistently emphasized that the solution to our challenges lies in cooperating to form a jointly strong region, a region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous and free from global or regional hegemony.”
** Saudi Embassy in Doha
On restoring diplomatic relations with Qatar, Bin Farhan said, “The reopening of the Saudi embassy in Doha will take place within days, and there is a Saudi technical team working on that.”
He stressed that “all the four countries (Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt) agree on the importance of reconciliation with Qatar.”
He pointed out that “the Al-Ula (Gulf) agreement lays the basis for resolving all outstanding problems (between the Gulf states), and we trust that everyone who signs the Al-Ula agreement has the intention to implement it.”
On January 5, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit was held in Al-Ula, Saadia, with the participation of the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad, and resulted in the signing of an agreement for Gulf reconciliation.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar, claiming its support for terrorism, which the latter denied at the time, and considered it an “attempt to undermine its sovereignty.”
** The Yemeni issue
On the Yemeni issue, the Saudi foreign minister said, “The Riyadh agreement is the basis for a political solution and a comprehensive settlement to the Yemen crisis.”
He added, “If the Houthis decide that Yemen’s interest is the most important, it will facilitate a solution.”
The designation of the Houthis as a “terrorist organization” by Washington was considered a “deserved designation.”
On November 5, 2019, the Riyadh Agreement was signed between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council, under Saudi sponsorship and UN support.
Among the most prominent provisions of the agreement is the formation of a 50/50 government with the participation of the Transitional Council (it was formed on December 18 last).
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