Saudi Arabia Confident Biden Administration Will Pursue Regional Stability

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RIYADH / BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister on Saturday said he was confident that Democrat Joe Biden’s new US administration would pursue policies that promote regional stability and that any discussion with it would lead to strong cooperation.

“I am confident that a Biden administration would continue to pursue policies that are in the interest of regional stability,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told Reuters in a virtual interview on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit, that his country welcomes.

The two countries have enjoyed good relations for over 75 years, he said, adding: “Any discussion we have with the future administration will lead to solid cooperation.”

Prince Faisal also said it would be “very appropriate” for the United States to designate the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen as a foreign terrorist organization.

Washington sees the group as an extension of Iranian influence in the region. President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to blacklist the group, sources told Reuters, as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had close personal ties to Trump, and their relationship provided a buffer against international criticism of Riyadh’s rights record sparked by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh’s role in the war in Yemen and the detention of women’s rights activists.

These areas can now become points of friction between Biden and Saudi Arabia, a major oil exporter and buyer of US arms.

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