Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Meeting with Trump a ‘Turning Point’

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Meeting with Trump a ‘Turning Point’
Wed Mar 15, 2017 19:28:13

Saudi Arabia hailed a "historical turning point" in US-Saudi relations after a meeting between Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump highlighted the two leaders’ shared the view that Iran posed a regional security threat.

The meeting on Tuesday appeared to signal a meeting of the minds on many issues between Trump and Prince Mohammed, in a marked difference from Riyadh’s often fraught relationship with the Obama administration, especially after the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"This meeting is considered a historical turning point in relations between both countries and which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues," a senior adviser to Prince Mohammed said.

"But the meeting today restored issues to their right path and form a big change in relations between both countries in political, military, security and economic issues," he said.

Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.

Riyadh and other allies see in Trump a strong president who will shore up Washington’s role as their main strategic partner and help contain Riyadh’s adversary Iran in a region central to US security and energy interests, regional analysts said.

The deputy crown prince viewed the nuclear deal as "very dangerous", the adviser said, adding that both leaders had identical views on "the danger of Iran’s regional expansionist activities". The White House has said the deal was not in the best interest of the US, Reuters reported.

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