Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, said on Saturday he was confident that Joe Biden’s incoming US administration would pursue policies that help regional stability.
“I’m confident that a Biden administration would continue to pursue policies that are in the interest of regional stability,” he told Reuters in a virtual interview on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit, which his country is hosting.
While President Donald Trump is close to the Saudi royal family, Biden pledged in his campaign to reassess ties with the kingdom, demanding more accountability over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul and calling for an end to US support for the Yemen war.
Saudi Arabia was one of the last countries to congratulate Biden over his election victory, doing so more than 24 hours after television networks projected he defeated Trump.
In the interview, the Saudi Foreign Minister also indicated that his country backs full normalization with Israel, but a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority that results in a Palestinian state must come first.
Trump has predicted on several occasions that Saudi Arabia would forge ties with Israel, following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently met Prince Faisal and encouraged Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel.
Later, however, Prince Faisal appeared to pour cold water on the prospects of Saudi-Israeli normalization taking place any time soon.
“I believe that the focus now needs to be on getting the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table. In the end, the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the Saudi minister said in a virtual appearance at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank.