Kerry and Jubair insist U.S., Saudi ties remain strong

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) is pictured during a meeting with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in central London on January 14, 2016. (AFP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair insisted Thursday that their countries’ ties remain strong despite recent tensions over Washington’s outreach to Iran.

The top envoys met in London for talks on a variety of Middle East issues, including the wars in Syria and Yemen and the imminent implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

Washington has used the deal, under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear ambitions in exchange for a softening on sanctions, as a springboard to seek more productive ties with its old foe.

“We agree, first of all, the alliance, the friendship between the United States and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains a lynchpin of our efforts in the region. It’s important. We both agree with that, on both sides,” Kerry told reporters as he welcomed al-Jubair.

He added “We also understand the challenges that the kingdom and other countries feel in the region about interference in their countries.”

“We want to try to see if there’s a way, moving forward, to resolve some of these problems without moving to greater conflict. The last thing the region needs is more conflict,” he continued.

“And I know the kingdom of Saudi Arabia agrees with that. But there are simple things they would like to see done that help prevent that.”

Al-Jubair responded: “I think if you look at the challenges our region faces, whether in Syria, whether in Yemen, whether terrorists, whether in Iran’s interference in the affairs of the region, or Libya, the most effective ways for us to work though these challenges is through our close partnership and alliance with the United States of America.”

The pair’s meeting was to continue.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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