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Blinken, Saudi FM back away from ‘zero sum’ approach to China

The US secretary of state advanced a reset in Saudi policy in his visit to the kingdom, as nuclear negotiations may define a new phase of energy and security ties.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) attends a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on June 8, 2023.

Blinken: "It’s a strategic relationship"

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken didn’t hesitate when asked whether the US relationship with Saudi Arabia was transactional or strategic. 

“It is a strategic relationship,” Blinken told Hiba Nasr of Asharq News. “I think what we’re seeing is an increasing convergence in our partnership to advance in issues of mutual interest to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, and, for that matter, to countries in the region and beyond.” 

Blinken’s visit to the kingdom this week underscored a turnaround in a bilateral relationship that got off to a scratchy start when US President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. Candidate Biden had referred to the kingdom as a “pariah” because of the killing of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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