Riyadh, June 9: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that Saudi Arabia is always open to have a dialogue with its friends but doesn’t respond to pressure. “When we do anything we do it on our own interest and I don’t think anybody believes that pressure is helpful,” he said in response to a question on how Saudi Arabia deals with human right talks with international partners.
Prince Faisal made these remarks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Riyadh on Thursday. “We have gone through a significant reforms progress in the Kingdom. What we do in the Kingdom is based on the assessment of what’s best for the country and driven by the needs of the society,” he clarified.
Prince Faisal reaffirmed that the Kingdom’s priority is achieving its goals as the country is very focused on developing a pathway towards sustainable prosperity for the Saudi people. On Syria, Prince Faisal said: “We believe that dialogue with Damascus is the only way to resolve the crises in Syria and address the humanitarian crises. The past situation was neither working nor delivering.”
With regard to the growing relations with China, the Saudi minister said: “China is our largest trading partner so naturally there’s a lot of interaction with them as it is an important partner for the Kingdom.” “We still have a robust security relationship with the US and it is refreshed on a daily basis as we see our joint efforts in Sudan and Yemen. Our relations with the US remain robust and strong.”
Prince Faisal said he did not ascribe to any “zero-sum game.” “We’re all capable of having multiple partnerships and multiple engagements. The US does the same. I don’t want to get caught up in this negative view of this.”
On his part, Blinken said: “We’re not asking anyone to choose between US and China. We're simply trying to demonstrate the benefits of our partnership and the affirmative agenda that we bring,” he said, adding “our work in the region is not about any other country. It’s about the partnerships and benefits for our people and other countries.”