Saudi Arabia confides in ‘friendly’ relationship with Biden: official – Times of India

RIYAD: Saudi Arabia does not expect any major changes in its relations with the United States Joe biden, a senior official told CNN, despite the president-elect’s pledge to make the kingdom a “pariah.”
Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of OPEC, a close ally of President Donald Trump, distrusted Biden after pledging a tough stance against the kingdom for its human rights violations.
But Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, rejected the idea.
“We treat the President of the United States like a friend, whether he is a Republican or a Democrat,” Jubeir told CNN, in an interview published over the weekend.
“President-elect Biden has been in the (US) Senate for 35 years, he has tremendous experience … I don’t expect there to be a major change in terms of US foreign policy.”
The comment comes as Saudi Arabia hosts the G20 leaders’ summit this weekend, a first for an Arab nation, as global activists seek to draw attention to the kingdom’s human rights record.
Saudi Arabia largely escaped US censorship under Trump, who, along with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, had a personal connection with the crown prince. Mohammed ben salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdom.
Trump’s defeat leaves Prince Mohammed vulnerable to further scrutiny from the kingdom’s closest Western ally.
This could leave the crown prince isolated amid economic challenges that threaten his reform agenda, a bitter war in neighboring Yemen and pockets of domestic opposition to his rule.
During his election campaign, Biden threatened to make Saudi Arabia “the outcast that it is”.
Saudi observers are calling the kingdom’s Democratic leader’s campaign speeches swaggering, pointing out that Trump also struck a hostile note during his 2016 campaign before quickly warming up in front of his leaders.
“We deal with presidents once they’re in office, and we have huge interests with the United States,” Jubeir said.
“We work together on global economic security, on energy security, on financial matters, and we are essential to the Muslim world. These interests are huge for us and for the United States.”

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