Home Business Saudi Arabia assured Biden will pursue regional stability, international minister says

Saudi Arabia assured Biden will pursue regional stability, international minister says

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© Reuters. Germany’s Heiko Maas meets Saudi Arabian International Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Berlin

By Marwa Rashad and Raya Jalabi

RIYADH/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s international minister mentioned on Saturday he was assured that Democrat Joe Biden’s incoming U.S. administration would pursue insurance policies that assist regional stability and that any discussions with it will result in robust cooperation.

Riyadh is bracing itself for a brand new U.S. president who pledged on the election marketing campaign path to reassess ties with Saudi Arabia, a state he described as a “pariah” in 2019.

“I am assured {that a} Biden administration would proceed to pursue insurance policies which are within the curiosity of regional stability,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud advised Reuters in a digital interview on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit, which his nation is internet hosting.

“Any discussions we can have with the long run administration will result in robust cooperation.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman loved shut private ties with President Donald Trump and their relationship offered a buffer in opposition to worldwide criticism over Riyadh’s rights file following the homicide of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh’s function in Yemen’s warfare and the detention of girls’s rights activists.

These areas might now change into factors of friction between Biden and Saudi Arabia, a significant oil exporter and purchaser of U.S. arms.

Prince Faisal emphasised the 75-year historical past of “robust defence cooperation” between the 2 nations and mentioned he anticipated it to proceed.

He mentioned it will be “fully acceptable” for the US to designate the Iran-aligned Houthi motion in Yemen as a international terrorist organisation.

“Everyone knows a lot of their weapons and a big a part of their ideology comes from Iran. So they’re definitely a foreign-backed terrorist group,” he mentioned.

Washington sees the group as an extension of Iranian affect within the area. Trump’s administration has been threatening to blacklist the group, sources have advised Reuters, as a part of its “most strain” marketing campaign in opposition to Tehran. Iran denies that it provides monetary and navy assist to the Houthis.

Saudi Arabia lobbied arduous for the marketing campaign in opposition to rival Iran, and at difficulty is how Biden will deal with Tehran’s ballistic missiles and assist for regional proxies in any talks to revive a global nuclear pact with Iran that Trump stop in 2018.

Prince Faisal additionally mentioned the dominion loved “good, amicable” relations with Turkey, which has been at odds with the dominion for some years over international coverage and attitudes in the direction of Islamist political teams. The homicide of Khashoggi within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sharply heightened tensions.

For greater than a 12 months, some Saudi and Turkish merchants have speculated that Saudi Arabia was implementing a casual boycott of imports from Turkey.

The minister mentioned he hasn’t seen any numbers that might assist the existence of a boycott.

Commenting on the rift amongst Gulf nations with Qatar, Prince Faisal mentioned Riyadh was searching for a solution to finish a dispute with Qatar. The dispute dates from 2017 when the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar, severing diplomatic and transport ties and accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies allegations of supporting terrorism.

Within the lead-up to the G20, main human rights teams and households of jailed activists referred to as on G20 capitals to boycott the summit over Riyadh’s rights file.

Requested whether or not Saudi Arabia was contemplating clemency for detained ladies’s rights activists, a prospect initially raised by the Saudi ambassador to the UK and subsequently walked again, Prince Faisal mentioned clemency was a “non-issue”, given the ladies have been nonetheless on trial.

The detainees are accused of harming Saudi pursuits. Few prices have been made public however some relate to contacts with international journalists, diplomats and rights teams.

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