July 19, 2022: -Saudi Arabia will resume strengthening its relationships with the U.S. and China, one of the kingdom’s top diplomats told as President Joe Biden has paid a closely-watched official visit to the country.
“We build bridges with people; we are not seeing see one as exclusive of the other,” Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said
“We want to be able to deal with everybody, and we want to be able to engage with everybody. This is what has appointed,” said al-Jubeir, who was recently appointed envoy for climate affairs.
“China is our largest trading partner. It’s a huge energy market and a huge future market. And China is a big investor in Saudi Arabia, and the United States is, of course, our number one partner in security and political coordination, as well as investments and trade between the two countries.”
The conversation took place against Biden’s much publicized and criticized visit to the Middle East, his first since he took office. The president was on a mission to restore connections with Saudi Arabia, a strategic ally of a few 80 years and a country he has spent years criticizing for its human rights abuses.
In a blatant turnaround spurred by painfully high gas prices for American consumers, a food and energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and a desire to bring the Saudis and Israel closer to one another, Biden this week hailed Washington’s long-held relationship with the kingdom. It went to measurements to describe why it was vital for U.S. interests.
The president’s interests in a Washington Post op-ed the previous week include regional stability and security, counterterrorism, a united front in dealing with Iran, a ceasefire in Yemen, and oil market stabilization. Saudi Arabia is Washington’s top weapons buyer.