No problem with US, says Saudi foreign minister

Nov 05 2013, 00:57 IST
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SummaryThe secretary arrived for his visit amid indications of strain in relations between Riyadh and Washington.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal assured visiting Secretary of State John Kerry Monday there is no problem with the United States, saying “our two friendly countries” are busy dealing with troublesome issues like Syria, Iran and the Mideast peace process.

“There is no room for emotion and anger here, but rather for policies of common sense and level-headedness,” Faisal said at a joint news conference with Kerry.

The secretary arrived for his visit here amid indications of strain in relations between Riyadh and Washington over the Obama administration’s policy toward war-torn Syria, its movement toward a possible dialogue with Iran, a regional rival of the Saudis, and its stance on Egypt.

The prince told Kerry: “A true relationship between friends is based on sincerity, candour and frankness, rather than mere courtesy.” The pair appeared together not long after Kerry, speaking to US employees at the American Embassy here, hailed the kingdom’s role as “the senior player” in the Middle East.

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