An official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington said Wednesday that ties between the US and Saudi Arabia were “historic and remain[ed] strong,” following an article that depicted the relationship as “reaching its lowest point in decades.”
Ties between Washington and Riyadh have soured since the Biden administration took office and made several foreign policy moves seen as targeting Saudi Arabia. But disagreements do not mean that both countries will stop looking at ways to bolster bilateral ties, the official said.
“Over the course of the last 77 years of Saudi-US relations, there have been many disagreements and differing points of view over many issues, but that has never stopped the two countries from finding a way to work together to achieve the best interests of both nations,” the official said in an e-mailed statement.
The Wall Street Journal published an article earlier this week titled “How US-Saudi Relations Reached the Breaking Point,” citing US and Saudi officials.
The article also referred to meetings between senior Biden administration officials and Saudi officials in recent months as being tense, with some including “shouting.”
Two specific meetings mentioned in the article were between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year and another between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman.
The Saudi official said the meeting between the crown prince and Sullivan was “cordial and respectful,” while they described the meeting between Blinken and Prince Khalid as “fruitful.”
A White House National Security Council spokeswoman later told the Journal that “there was no shouting” during Sullivan’s meeting with the crown prince.
The Saudi Embassy official said: “Contrary to this report on the state of affairs between the Kingdom and the United States, the relationship is historic and remains strong.
“There is daily contact between officials on an institutional level and there is close coordination on issues ranging from security, defense, counterterrorism, to strengthening economic cooperation and investments, to working together on climate and energy security.”
The Journal’s article also mentioned a claim that the Saudi Crown Prince wanted US President Joe Biden to recognize “his legitimate claim to inherit the throne.”
The Saudi official said this was “nonsensical.”
“This story is riddled with fallacies,” the official added.
As for the Yemen war, where the Biden administration has been trying to help mediate a peaceful solution, the Saudi official said the US and Saudi Arabia were coordinating closely to bring peace to the war-torn country through diplomacy.
“The characterization of the relationship as ‘reaching its lowest point in decades’ is simply not true,” the official said.
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