Saudi Arabia doesn’t expect ‘major change’ under Biden

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Saudi Arabia does not expect a “major change” in its relationship with the United States after US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, saying the “friendship” will continue, despite the Democrat’s criticism of the kingdom, assured a senior Saudi official.

“We work with the President of the United States as with a friend, whether he is a Republican or a Democrat,” said Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, in an interview broadcast this weekend on the American news channel CNN.

“President-elect Biden is in the Senate [américain] for 35 years he has had a great deal of experience. I don’t expect there to be a major shift in terms of US foreign policy, ”he added, emphasizing the“ huge interests ”at stake.

“We work together on global economic security, on energy security, on financial issues and we are essential as far as the Muslim world is concerned,” he said.

Mr. Biden vowed during his recent campaign for the US presidency to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” due to serious human rights abuses in the kingdom, the world’s largest crude oil exporter and close ally of the United States, especially under the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the summit of G20 leaders this weekend, amid criticism from NGOs calling on the kingdom’s major international partners to react to its relentless crackdown on dissenting voices.

But it was largely spared by the Trump administration, which maintained its support for Riyadh even at the height of the diplomatic crisis triggered by the assassination of critical Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The personal links between Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salman and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump, contrast with the cold relations that Riyadh had with Barack Obama, of which Joe Biden was the vice-president.

The US Congress has also had rather hard positions towards Saudi Arabia, especially in 2019 because of the military intervention of the rich Gulf country since 2015 in Yemen, since then plunged into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN.

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