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Blinken says Saudis not asked to choose between US, China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken struck a conciliatory tone in Riyadh
— Riyadh (AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saudi Arabia was not being forced to choose between Washington and Beijing, striking a conciliatory tone in Riyadh following tensions with the long-time ally.

Blinken, appearing alongside his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan at the end of a three-day visit, denied that Saudi Arabia's warming ties with China were a problem for the United States.

He added that the United States supported the humanitarian goals that Prince Faisal said were behind lifting Syria's suspension from the Arab League, a move that was condemned by Washington.

"We've... been very clear we're not asking anyone to choose between the United States and China," Blinken told media after a meeting of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

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