Jubeir: Saudi Arabia to have strong ties with future US president

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Saudi Arabia will have strong ties with the future US president.

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Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Friday Saudi Arabia will have strong ties with the future US president at a news briefing during a Washington visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

During the conference -- which followed a meeting betweem Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Barack Obama-- Jubeir said the relationship with Washington will “grow stronger and deeper in all areas, irrespective of who is in the White House.”

The foreign minister also commented on claims that a secret 28-page section of a US congressional report on the September 11 attacks implicates its leaders.

Last month, former senator Bob Graham said the pages should be made public and alleged Saudi officials had provided assistance to the 9/11 hijackers. The US Senate later passed a legislation that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia's government for damages.

Jubeir said Riyadh’s position since 2002 when the report first came out, was '”release the pages”, adding that his country “cannot respond to blank pages.”

Jubeir said his country objects to the bill passed by the US Senate and has also denied that Saudi Arabia threatened it might sell up to $750 billion in US securities and other American assets in retaliation if it became law.

“What (Congress is) doing is stripping the principle of sovereign immunities which would turn the world for international law into the law of the jungle.”

On Yemen, Jubeir said the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the war-torn country is "doing everything we can to minimize civilian casualties" from air strikes.

Also, the Saudi foreign minister denied media reports that suggested the United Arab Emirates' involvement in the Yemen war has changed.

And on Syria, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia supports a more aggressive approach against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, including imposing a no-fly zone and arming rebels with surface-to-air missiles.

"If the Bashar regime feels that it can continue in a stalemate, much less prevail, there will be no incentive for them to take the necessary steps to bring about a transition in Syria," Jubeir said.

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