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Saudi Arabia, US Agree on Dangers of Iranian Expansionism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Saudi Arabia, US Agree on Dangers of Iranian Expansionism

US President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House  in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Saudi Arabia announced “a historic turning point” in ties shared with the United States after President Donald Trump welcomed Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the White House.

A Bloomberg report cited a senior adviser to the Deputy Crown Prince said in a statement after Tuesday’s meeting that “relations had undergone a period of difference of opinion”.

The Saudi statement said Trump had a “great understanding” of the bilateral relationship. The president and the prince “share the same views on the gravity of the Iranian expansionist moves in the region,” the adviser said.

“However, today’s meeting has put things on the right track, and marked a significant shift in relations, across all political, military, security and economic fields.”

The praise for Trump’s “great understanding” of US-Saudi relations reflects the eagerness for a renewed alliance after deep strains with former President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

The new administration sees Saudi Arabia “as a crucial part of the Middle East and an important country to have a positive relationship with – even if there are irritants in the relationship,” said Simon Henderson, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and director of the institute’s Gulf and Energy Policy Program.

“This is at odds with the Obama administration, so they want to make that clear distinction.”

Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of US President Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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