Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Matera, Italy on Tuesday.
During the meeting, the two officials discussed details of strategic partnerships between the two countries, according to Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry. The pair also spoke about the ways in which they could provide support to each other in a bid to further strengthen their ties in several other avenues and to serve the greater good.
The foreign minister and secretary spoke about strengthening their joint coordination on dealing with Iran and its subversive interference in the region, as well as its financing of Houthi militias in Yemen and other extremist militant groups that threaten international security and peace.
In addition to this, the discussion also featured some of the most prominent topics discussed at the meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries.
The G20 meeting marked a push in the direction of returning to normalcy as the group of foreign ministers met for the first time in two years on Tuesday, with host Italy aiming to push multilateral cures for global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The one-day gathering in the southern Italian city of Matera is expected to include debate on how to improve cooperation on global health, climate change and international trade, among others.
In a sharp reversal from the previous US administration, Blinken emphasized the need for multilateral institutions as foreign ministers from the Group of 20 major economies met in the ancient Italian city of Matera.
“Multilateral cooperation will be key to our collective ability to stop this global health crisis,” said Blinken, winding down a week-long trip to Europe.
“That’s also true for the work we must do to strengthen global health security moving forward so we can detect, prevent and respond better to future health emergencies.”
The talks will prepare for a G20 leaders’ meeting in October in Rome that is expected to see the first summit between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping amid soaring tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
With China participating virtually in Matera, Tuesday’s conference was focused more on general themes but marked a major US shift following the defeat of former president Donald Trump, who belittled international institutions as part of his “America First” philosophy.