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Saudi foreign minister optimistic about overcoming Mideast challenges

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir arrives for the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Group of 20 in Bonn, western Germany, on Thursday. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, left, is welcomed by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel prior to a meeting of the group of 20 Foreign Ministers in Bonn, Germany, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir holds a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Bonn on Thursday. (SPA)
BONN, Germany: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Thursday he was optimistic about overcoming the many challenges facing the Middle East and looked forward to working with the administration of US President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, Trump dropped Washington’s commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, a key pillar of US Middle East policy through successive administrations.
After meeting his US counterpart Rex Tillerson, Al-Jubeir declined to comment directly on that decision, which added to European concerns about how Trump’s “America First” message might reshape US foreign policy.
A senior French diplomat said Trump’s remarks, made alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “made no sense.”
“We look forward to working with the Trump administration on all issues in the region,” Jubeir said.
“We are very, very optimistic about our ability to overcome the many challenges we face in the region.”
Tillerson and Jubeir are in Bonn to attend a meeting of the G20 top industrialized countries.
Trump also promised to work toward a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians and said it would require compromise on both sides.
Last week the US ambassador to the United Nations said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ choice of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the UN envoy to Libya showed the organization was biased against Israel.
“We thought that what happened with regard to Fayyad was already deplorable,” the French diplomat said .”..But all this makes it difficult for us to understand the decision processes at the heart of the American administration.”
Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil CEO, is due to meet separately on Thursday with the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Britain.

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