Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah stressed on Thursday that his country does not respond to pressure related to human rights.
He acknowledged differences between Riyadh and Washington, “but we are working on reaching a mechanism that would allow us to work together,” he said during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the conclusion of a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Riyadh.
“The partnership with Washington is still strong and there is great room to develop it,” continued Prince Faisal, adding that Saudi Arabia is continuing to develop its security and military ties with the US.
Moreover, he remarked: “It’s no secret that we are developing our domestic civilian nuclear program and we would very much prefer to be able to have the US as one of the bidders.”
He also stressed that China is an important partner to Saudi Arabia and the countries of the region.
On Israel, he said normalization with it would have “limited benefits” without “finding a pathway to peace for the Palestinian people.”
Turning to regional developments, Prince Faisal underlined that Saudi Arabia would continue to pursue efforts to ease the suffering of the Sudanese people.
The warring parties in Sudan must assume their responsibilities and avoid causing more destruction in the country, he urged, noting that their commitment to a ceasefire offers a glimmer of hope to the people.
On Syria, the FM revealed that the Damascus government has made “clear pledges” to address the fears of the international community, adding that dialogue with it will help resolve humanitarian problems there.
On the fight against terrorism Prince Faisal underscored the importance of confrontining terrorist groups in Afghanistan so that the country doesn’t become a safe haven for them.
The international community must assume its roles in facing joint challenges, most notably terrorism, He stressed the importance of judicial reforms and bringing the terrorists to justice to ensure the safe return of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to their homes.
For his part, Blinken said the US is committed to bolstering and maintaining the partnership in the region, expressing his gratitude to the Saudi contributions in the anti-ISIS coalition.
He also hailed the massive historic efforts it is making to modernize its economy.
Washington is working closely with Saudi Arabia to reach a lasting ceasefire and launch a comprehensive political process in Yemen.
They are also working with regional countries to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior, he added, while stressing that ties with Gulf countries are important to the US.
Commenting on Sudan, he said Saudi Arabia is using diplomacy to reach a ceasefire and deliver humanitarian aid.
On Syria, he reiterated Washington's opposition to the reinstatement of its membership in the Arab League, adding however, that it is in agreement with its partners on issues that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must commit to.