Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi foreign minister, said his country is “serious” about talks with Iran, adding: “For us, this is not a big shift, as we have always said we want to find a way to achieve stability in the region.”
In an interview with the British newspaper, the Financial Times, the Saudi minister said that the talks with Iran were “friendly”, describing them as still “exploratory”.
During a meeting with journalists in Washington last week, Prince Faisal referred to the beginnings of a “friendly exploratory dialogue” with Iran, and said: “We are committed to continuing these discussions and finding a way forward because our vision for the region aims to achieve prosperity and stability, and we hope that Iran will share this vision with us.”.
He explained that discussions with Iran did not touch upon its intentions to resume indirect talks in Vienna, and said: “We encourage Iran to engage positively with the international community and with its neighbors in the region to address all concerns.”
Iran’s nuclear program
During his interview with reporters yesterday, the Saudi minister highlighted the step to accelerate the Iranian nuclear program, stressing the need to reach a real, substantive, and effective agreement to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, in addition to addressing regional tensions.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan warned that the region is entering a dangerous stage with Iran accelerating its nuclear activities, amid efforts to bring it back into the nuclear agreement.
He stressed that continuous coordination with the US administration “is important to us, as well as to the region; For stability and prosperity, I have discussed in conversations with Secretary Blinken a wide range of issues and where we stand on the nuclear talks… We are concerned that Iran continues to accelerate its activities beyond its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Work Agreement as well as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
On Plan B and the options that the US administration is waving, the Saudi foreign minister said:
“It is important that all options are on the table, and that there are sufficient tools to encourage Iran to come to the negotiating table to discuss the nuclear issue, and also to discuss issues of regional concern.
He stressed that his country’s position is “to encourage the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible in Vienna, and the need to find a long-term and beneficial path that prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and we believe in the Middle East region being free of nuclear weapons.”
Discussions with Blinken
Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed the strength of relations between his country and the US administration, and actively engaged in discussions related to regional issues and achieving stability, noting that the Iranian file was at the top of the agenda in talks with his American counterpart Anthony Belinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, during Visit the US capital.
The two ministers had reviewed the strategic and historical relations and ways to strengthen them between the two countries, during their meeting in Washington.
The Saudi foreign minister said on Twitter, “I had fruitful discussions with the US Secretary of State, during which we discussed many topics, including strengthening aspects of strategic cooperation in all fields, and working to intensify joint coordination in many regional and international issues of concern to our two friendly countries.”
The two ministers touched on many regional and international issues of common concern, foremost of which is the promotion of security and stability in the Middle East, and the efforts to lay the foundations for peace made by the two friendly countries in the region and the world.
During the meeting, they discussed joint efforts to combat terrorism and extremism in all its forms and manifestations, in addition to discussing joint efforts to stop the Houthi militia’s violations against Yemeni human beings, as the political solution and development in Yemen have been disrupted.
The two sides also discussed the importance of strengthening joint efforts to stop the Houthi militia’s continuous attacks on civilian and economic facilities, their threat to international navigation, and their use of the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people as a bargaining chip.
The two sides exchanged views on the Iranian nuclear program and the international negotiations undertaken in this regard.
The two sides also touched on the importance of supporting everything that guarantees security and stability in Afghanistan, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international developments and the efforts made in their regard.
The Saudi minister also met with the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley.
During the meeting, they discussed ways to enhance joint work between the two countries on the Iranian nuclear file and international negotiations in this regard, in addition to discussing intensifying joint efforts to confront Iranian violations of international agreements and treaties related to the nuclear agreement.
The two sides also dealt with the importance of strengthening joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias that destabilize security and stability in the Middle East and the world.
In another meeting, Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Brett McGurk, the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa affairs at the US National Security Council, Ambassador Barbara Leaf, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Affairs at the US National Security Council, and Yale Lambert, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
During the meeting, they reviewed Saudi-US relations and opportunities to enhance them. The meeting also discussed Saudi-US efforts in laying the foundations for peace, security, and stability in the Middle East and the world.
The meeting also dealt with, as reported by the SPA news agency, the Kingdom’s efforts and initiatives to reach a political solution in Yemen in a way that supports development and stability for the Yemeni people, in addition to the most prominent developments regarding the Iranian nuclear file and the ongoing negotiations in this regard.
The Yemeni scene was not lost on the speech of the Saudi Foreign Minister, who stated that Saudi Arabia had presented an initiative that included a path for political dialogue and an end to the Yemeni conflict, but the Houthis have so far refused to engage and continued to attack Saudi Arabia.
“We believe that the United States and the international community as a whole should put more pressure on the Houthis to accept proposals to end the conflict, and the fastest way to end the conflict is for the Houthis to accept the comprehensive ceasefire proposal on the table and engage seriously in political talks,” the Saudi foreign minister said.
The minister denied the existence of any link between conducting negotiations and talks and opening ports and airports, as he said, “Airports and ports are open, and discussions are about restoring commercial traffic in them, and there are differences between the Yemeni government and the Houthis over the distribution of revenues, and this sometimes hinders ships and we work with the United States and others to find roads. to handle this work.
- discussion session
The minister held a discussion session with some members of American think tanks and institutes, in the presence of representatives from the Middle East Institute, the Atlantic Council, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, the Council on American Foreign Relations, and the Wilson Center.
The discussion session touched on the strategic Saudi-US relations and the solid partnership in laying the foundations for security and stability in the Middle East, and many issues of common concern. It also dealt with the Saudi-American efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen that brings together all Yemeni parties, and the two countries’ efforts to support security, stability, and prosperity for Yemen and its people.
The Saudi foreign minister also discussed with members of American centers and institutes views on the Iranian nuclear file and the threat it poses to international peace and security, and international navigation, with the importance of asking the international community to confront the terrorist militias backed by Iran, which pose a real danger to the peoples of the region and the world.
While the discussion session touched on the Kingdom’s efforts to protect the planet, including the “Green Saudi Arabia” and “Green Middle East” initiatives, announced by Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, at the end of last March. , and enjoyed a great global interaction.
The think tank members noted the two initiatives that will contribute to confronting the phenomenon of climate change, protecting the land and nature, and contributing strongly and effectively to achieving global goals. To push the wheel of combating climate-related crises in a coordinated manner, regionally and internationally.
Attitudes and obligations
About the situation in Lebanon, the Saudi Foreign Minister indicated that the events of the past days show the need for serious and real change and the need to focus on real reforms and that the responsibility lies with the Lebanese leadership to extricate the country from this situation, and to address structural economic and political problems. He explained that Saudi Arabia will continue to provide advice and support to the Lebanese people.
On the other hand, the Saudi minister praised the success of the electoral process in Iraq, and said: “We believe that the stability of Iraq is a pillar for achieving regional stability and pushing the region in the right direction.”
On the Afghan issue, Prince Faisal explained that his country has not had any contact with the Taliban since 2001. He believes that the movement needs to bring all elements of Afghan society to achieve stability in Afghanistan, and said: “It is the responsibility of the Taliban to choose the path to build a country.” fulfills the aspirations of the Afghan people.”
On oil prices and demands to increase production, the Saudi foreign minister said: “We are committed to a balanced energy market in the face of challenges facing oil markets in a way that achieves stability and serves the interests of producers and consumers.” He added, “We are taking the situation very seriously, not only in the short term, but in the medium and long term, and we are committed to managing the market in a way that protects the global economy.”