Saudi Foreign Minister: U.S.-Saudi Relationship is “Very Solid”
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Following a meeting today at the White House between Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Barack Obama, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir reviewed the strong historic ties and strategic value of the bilateral relationship during a press conference at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
“With regard to the relationship between our two countries: Yes, I believe they will grow stronger and they will grow deeper in all areas, irrespective of who is in the White House,” said the foreign minister. “This relationship is very, very solid…This relationship will go on and continue to flourish, as it has over the past eight decades.”
This was the first visit to the U.S. by Prince Mohammed as Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. He held a series of meetings in Washington this week with senior administration officials, members of Congress and representatives of the private sector.
Minister Al-Jubeir said Prince Mohammed briefed officials on Saudi Vision 2030, which he described as a very bold and comprehensive vision for the Kingdom.
“I think people in the U.S. were very pleased with it and very supportive of the scope of it, the breadth of it, and look forward to working with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its implementation,” he said.
Minister Al-Jubeir also discussed regional issues, including Yemen, Syria and Iran. On Yemen, he said the coalition had reduced its military operations in Yemen in support of peace talks, and is working to reach a political agreement.
“The military operations of the coalition have substantially subsided and we are working to reach a political agreement between the Yemeni parties that will then launch a transition period, that will then take Yemen to a new future,” he said.
Minister Al-Jubeir also said the Saudi-led coalition is doing everything it can to minimize civilian casualties and is upholding international humanitarian law.
“We are confident that we have taken all necessary measures to prevent or to minimize collateral damage or damage to civilians,” Minister Al-Jubeir said.
On Syria, the foreign minister said Saudi Arabia has always supported a more aggressive, robust intervention in Syria against Bashar al-Assad.
“We have always supported a more aggressive approach and a more robust approach, including a military approach, to Syria, and we have said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be prepared to provide special forces to any international coalition that would operate in Syria.”
The foreign minister said the Kingdom’s position towards Iran has not changed. He stated, “It [Iran] is igniting sectarianism in the region; it is supporting terrorism; it is assassinating diplomats; it is exporting arms; and it is supporting militias and letting these militias destabilize the region. If Iran wants to have normal relations with the countries of the region, it must change the approach that it has adopted over 35 years.”