Saudis optimistic over incoming Trump administration

By REUTERS
January 16, 2017 21:44
1 minute read.

 
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PARIS - Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday he was positive about the incoming US administration, and especially about the way it wanted to restore American influence in the world, contain Iran and fight Islamic State.

"We are optimistic about the incoming administration and look forward to working with it in all areas that are a concern for both of us," Jubeir told reporters in Paris.

"We will look at the Trump administration's view as articulated. Wanting to restore America's role in the world, we welcome this. Wanting to defeat ISIS (Islamic State), absolutely. Wanting to contain Iran ... absolutely."

Jubeir said the interests of the world's largest oil exporter were aligned with those of the United States -- be it geopolitically, in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran; or on energy and financial issues.

"The objectives we want to achieve are the same. We may have disagreements on how to get there, but we don't disagree on what needs to be done, and that will not change," he said.

When asked specifically about Riyadh's relationship with its Shi'ite regional rival Iran, Jubeir accused Tehran of destabilising the region.

"Our relationship with Iran is tense and it's in function of its aggressive and hostile policies. It would be wonderful to live in peace and harmony with Iran, but it takes two to tango," Jubeir said, speaking in English.

"We can't be subject to death and destruction and expect to turn the other cheek. We tried, but it didn't work."

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