While President Biden is expected to reevaluate the US-Saudi relationship, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Riyadh is optimistic about the new administration.
“We are optimistic of having excellent ties with the US under a Biden administration,” Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said in an interview with Al-Arabiya on Thursday.
Biden has said he will end US support for the Saudis war in Yemen, something Antony Blinken, the secretary of state nominee, reiterated during Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearings. But Prince Faisal seems to think Biden will continue support for the brutal war.
“The Biden administration will see that we have common goals with regards to the situation in Yemen,” he said, adding that the Trump administration’s decision to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a terror organization was justified.
Calls for Biden to reverse the terror designation are growing, as aid groups and the UN are warning of the famine it will cause. Yemeni civilians have been starving for years due to the tactics of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition. Blinken also said that the new administration will review the terror designation “immediately.”
Only time will tell how serious Biden is about ending the war in Yemen and reassessing Washington’s relationship with Riyadh. Under the Trump administration, the Saudis enjoyed full-throated support in Yemen, with Trump pushing through arms sales and vetoing legislation that would have ended the war.