King Salman-McCain talks focus on boosting Saudi-US ties

King Salman receives US Sen. John McCain in Riyadh Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2017
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King Salman-McCain talks focus on boosting Saudi-US ties

RIYADH: King Salman received US Sen. John McCain and held talks on different aspects of US-Saudi relations here at Al-Yamamah Palace Tuesday.
“During the meeting, King Salman and the American senator reviewed the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US,” said an SPA report.
“McCain met top Saudi officials including King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, and Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir,” said Johann Schmonsees, a spokesman of the US Embassy. However, he chose not to speak about the issues discussed between the influential US senator and high-ranking Saudi officials.
McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrived in Riyadh after talks on Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The SPA report said that Saudi officials and McCain discussed “a number of issues of common concern including enhancing cooperation between the Kingdom and the US in various fields.”
McCain also met and discussed topics of mutual interest with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of National Guard. The discussions focused on cooperation between the two countries.
Sen. McCain’s visit comes two days before Thursday’s UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva between Syria’s government and the opposition
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar together with Western powers including the US have been working closely to restore peace and security in Syria. They are also members of a US-led coalition battling Daesh and other terror outfits there.
The Kingdom has been at the forefront of all peace efforts that are directed to settle conflicts in the Middle East.
Recently, Al-Jubeir expressed optimism that the Trump presidency will be more engaged in the region, particularly in containing Iran; which backs the Bashar Assad regime and rebels in Yemen.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 40 min 30 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.