Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah stressed on Thursday that the Kingdom’s hand is extended for peace with Iran even though Tehran has never respected any agreement it had signed.
At the same time, he criticized Iran’s calls for dialogue with Saudi Arabia, saying it is abusing them to “escape from its problems.”
“Our hand is extended for peace with Iran, but it does not respect its own agreements,” he remarked in statements to Al Arabiya television.
On Joe Biden’s swearing in as new president of the United States, the minister said Saudi Arabia was optimistic that ties will be “excellent” with the new administration, noting that his appointments reflect his understanding of pending issues.
Prince Faisal underscored the historic relations that bind Riyadh and Washington, stressing: “We have dealt excellently with Republican and Democratic administrations.”
“Our ties with America are based on institutions and our common interests have not changed,” he said.
“We will hold talks with the US on the Iran nuclear deal so that it can have a strong foundation,” he revealed. He added that the European countries acknowledge that the previous agreement had its flaws.
He attributed the weakness of previous agreements to the failure to coordinate with regional countries.
“The Iranian regime must change its positions and focus on the needs and livelihood of its people,” urged the FM.
On Yemen, he said the Riyadh Agreement will serve as the foundation for a political solution and comprehensive agreement to its crisis.
If the Iran-backed Houthi militias realize that the Yemen’s interest is a priority, then the solution will be easily reached, he noted, while also welcoming Washington’s designation of the militias as terrorist, saying it is “deserved.”
The Biden administration will realize that “our goals are common in regards to the situation in Yemen,” he continued.
On Iraq, Prince Faisal stressed that its stability is integral to the stability of the region and Arab world. He said Saudi Arabia was keen on strengthening economic cooperation with it.
On Lebanon, he said “it will not prosper without political reform and the shunning of the Hezbollah militia.”
Lebanon has the elements for success, but it needs reforms, he urged.
On the AlUla declaration that marked the end of the Gulf rift, he said: “The agreement will act as a strong foundation for Gulf and Arab coordination.”
“It will pave the way for resolving all pending problems,” he added. “We trust that everyone who signed the declaration has the intention to implement it.”
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt are agreed on the importance of reconciling with Qatar, he remarked, revealing that the Kingdom will reopen its embassy in Doha in coming days.
A Saudi technical team is already working on this issue, he said.