Saudis see no change in ties during Trump presidency

Saudis see no change in ties during Trump presidency
US President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally, early Wednesday, in New York. (AP)
Updated 10 November 2016

Saudis see no change in ties during Trump presidency

Saudis see no change in ties during Trump presidency

RIYADH: A wide cross section of Saudi society on Wednesday exuded hope that US President-elect Donald Trump will be supportive of peace, security and stability in the Middle East.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulated Trump on his election as the 45th president of the United States and expressed their well wishes.
Commenting on the election result, Salman Al-Ansari, founder and president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, a Washington-based organization, told Arab News by telephone: “I think it’s a huge change in the US political fabric, where the Republicans are the winners in the presidency and the congressional side through a majority in both Houses — the Senate and the House of Representatives, which is a complete shift on everything we have seen with the reluctant Obama’s presidency... I have huge hope that the new US administration will take crucial steps to rectify its trajectory of the deeply rooted relations with its allies, specifically Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states,” he underlined.
“So, we will see a completely different approach with regard to foreign affairs,” he said adding, “it will not be immediate but will be at some point, gradually.”
Although many Saudis were taken by surprise when they learned that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s quest to make history as the first female US president was foiled by Trump, they expressed their hope that the ongoing Saudi-US cordial relations will remain strong.
Mohamed Al-Khunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News, “We welcome the outcome of the US presidential election and are hopeful that the cordial relations between the Kingdom and the US will continue to bring security and stability to the region.” “No matter who is the president, the cordial bilateral relation will continue between the two friendly countries as the US president does not make many changes in the strategic policy for the region,” he added.
Mona Salahuddin Al-Munajjed, sociologist, author, and a keen observer of the presidential election, said: “As a woman, I am disappointed that Hillary Clinton was defeated. She was not acceptable to the majority.” She said that this indicates that America is still not ready to accept a woman as president. She, however, expressed hope that Saudis will see positive changes in the next government and Trump will take into consideration the relations with the Middle East, and will be helpful in finding solution to problems in the region.
Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, who heads the legal affairs department at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Arab News that the Middle East is very important for the White House, and American decision makers are aware of the importance and the vital role played by countries in the region to support security and stability.
“It is therefore expected from the president-elect to be helpful in achieving security and stability with social and economic development,” he said.
“We also expect that the US administration will be keen on further consolidating diplomatic relations, especially with the Gulf states for being an active hub in international decision making,” he added.