Saudi leaders congratulate Biden, Harris one day after election victory
Saudi Arabian leaders have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden for his presidential win, joining various other world leaders in offering their well wishes, according to reports from its state news agency.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris according to the Saudi Press Agency, the state news agency of Saudi Arabia.
“King Salman praised the distinguished, historic and close relations between the two friendly countries and their people which everyone looks to strengthen and develop at all levels,” the state news agency reported, according to Haaretz.
Biden has promised to reassess the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Haaretz reports, calling for more accountability in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The newspaper notes that President Trump’s relationship with Prince Mohammed helped in reducing international outcry against Riyadh after Khashoggi’s death. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil and buyer of U.S. arms, Haaretz noted.
Biden has stated that although he will not get rid of fossil fuels, a claim President Trump repeatedly lobbed at him, he will stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and begin transitioning to renewable sources of energy.
Haaretz reported that Neil Quilliam, associate fellow at Britain’s Chatham House think-tank, said: “The Saudi leadership is concerned that a Biden administration and a hostile Congress will carry out a full review of relations, including re-evaluating defense ties and therefore will likely make positive sounds and moves towards ending the Yemen conflict.”
However others feel that a new administration will have little impact on the current state of U.S-Saudi relations.
“The ability to deal with any president because the U.S. is a country of institutions and there is a lot of institutional work between Saudi Arabia and the United States,” an unnamed Saudi political source told the newspaper. “Saudi-U.S. relations are deep, sustainable, and strategic and not prone to change because a president changes.”
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