US officials: Trump sees Saudi Arabia as cornerstone for regional stability

Strategic relations with Saudi Arabia have a special dimension to the United States, especially now under US President Donald Trump. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump’s statement of “standing by Saudi Arabia” remains a standard for political directives inside and outside Washington DC, although the US president’s statement was issued 20 days ago.

In an number of interviews conducted in the last few days by Al Arabiya English with US administration officials, they stressed that the administration’s position expressed by the US President on November 20 was not a result of a high-level meeting for the National Security Council or consultations between the president and his cabinet.

President Trump was in agreement with top officials in his administration early on that Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner, and must be treated on this basis, and that the killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be dealt with on legal grounds and transparency. This is why US officials have called for the revealing of investigation results, and Trump had said that the media were guilty of “false reporting” on the CIA’s assessment of the Khashoggi case.

US officials told Al Arabiya English that the administration has done its job and imposed sanctions on people accused by the Saudi judiciary of participating in the killing of Khashoggi.

The officials pointed to the realistic approach in which the US administration operates, saying that the United States has relations with many countries, and does not agree with all the actions of these countries at all times, but they express their concerns and demands, while maintaining relations with these states, especially strategic relations.

Confronting Iran

US President Donald Trump has put Iran’s activities in the Middle East at the center of his foreign policy and has made confronting Iran’s threats to security and stability, an essential part of the US national security strategy.

The US president and his administration also believe that Iran wants to exploit any weakness in Saudi Arabia and its relations with Washington, in order to step up its interference in the affairs of Arab states, increase tensions to spread its influence, and possibly even radical terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS.

US officials said that the the most important thing is “stability” and that the Saudi kingdom is a cornerstone of this system of stability and cooperation with the United States.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58