Saudis optimistic about ties with Biden

Cairo: Saudi Arabia is optimistic about developing “excellent relations” with the US under new President Joe Biden, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan has said.

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“There is a historic relationship linking Saudi Arabia with the US,” he told Al Arabiya television. “We [previously] dealt in an excellent way with Republican and Democratic administrations,” the official added.

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Riyadh is a major regional ally of Washington.

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Relations grew stronger between the two countries during the term of former US president Donald Trump who withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and adopted a maximalist approach towards it. Biden is likely to re-engage with Tehran.

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“We will consult with the US regarding the agreement so that it will be a strong basis,” Prince Faisal said. “The European countries understand that the previous agreement with Tehran has flaws,” he added.

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He said that “weakness” of previous accords with Iran had resulted from lack of coordination with the countries in the region. “The Iranian regime has to change its ideas and focus on its people’s welfare,” the official added.

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“Our hands are outstretched for peace with Iran, but it does not commit itself to agreements,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supporting the Yemeni Al Houthi rebels who have mounted a series of cross-border attacks on Saudi territory and civil facilities.

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