Saudi foreign minister optimistic about relations with Biden administration

Saudi foreign minister optimistic about relations with Biden administration

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Saturday expressed optimism on having “excellent relations” with the U.S. under President Biden’s administration, even as Biden has signaled a desire to develop a tougher stance on the Gulf nation. 

According to Reuters, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in an interview with Arabiya TV also signaled that he would continue discussions with the U.S. on the Iran nuclear deal. 

“I am optimistic. Saudi Arabia has built solid, historical relations where it worked with different administrations,” he added. “We will continue to do that as well with President Biden.” 


While Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies backed former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s 2018 move to remove the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement, Prince Fiasal said he supports talks with the U.S. that “will be around reaching a solid and strong agreement that takes into account Iran’s failure to comply… with strong monitoring factors to ensure the implementation of the agreement.” 

Biden has said that he would reenter the nuclear agreement with Iran should the Middle Eastern nation resume strict compliance with the provisions of the deal. 

Reuters reported that the foreign minister added Saturday that Saudi Arabia should be included in any future nuclear deal negotiations between the Biden administration and Iran in an effort to address Iran’s weapons capabilities and “malign activity.” 

Prince Faisal’s hopefulness on open relations with the U.S. comes as Biden has taken on a tougher tone toward Saudi Arabia than his predecessor, with Biden in 2019 calling the Gulf country a “pariah.” 

A particular source of tension has also been the Saudi Kingdom’s involvement in the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi


Avril HainesAvril HainesThe intelligence community must evolve with the information age Duckworth calls for Russian bounties intelligence to be declassified Intelligence official says Khashoggi report 'obviously' will challenge Saudi relationship MORE, Biden’s nominee for director of national intelligence, told a Senate panel Tuesday that if confirmed, she would order the release of an unclassified report about the 2018 killing of Khashoggi after he entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 

Numerous intelligence services have concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the journalist’s killing and dismemberment, though the crown prince has denied doing so. 

Biden has also condemned Saudi Arabia over its human rights record and its involvement in Yemen’s years-long civil war. 

Riyadh is already attempting to calm relations with the expected release of a prominent women's rights activist and a possible rapprochement over its blockade of Qatar, which is home to one of the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at the Al Udeid Air Base.