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US Ambassador: We Effectively Support the Achievement of Saudi Vision 2030

US Ambassador: We Effectively Support the Achievement of Saudi Vision 2030

Tuesday, 14 May, 2019 - 07:15
US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid during the roundtable talk on Monday. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Riyadh - Abdulhadi Habtor
John Abizaid, the newly appointed US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, pledged to boost relations between the two countries, noting that they will no longer depend on oil as in the past, but will rely on technology, innovation and the effective participation in the achievement of Saudi Vision 2030.

Abizaid said the most important priority he would pursue to strengthen US-Saudi relations was to make the US the number one country in helping Saudi Arabia realize Vision 2030, which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

He described the Vision as “a bold attempt to reshape society, a bold attempt to diversify the economy, a bold attempt to think new, and I’m of the opinion that it’s in the interest of the United States to help in what way we can.”

His remarks came during a roundtable discussion with a number of editors-in-chief at the embassy in Riyadh on Monday.

“In the past, our relationship was all about petroleum, but in the future our relationship will be about trade of ideas, of thinking about the future, thinking about institutions, thinking about moderation,” Abizaid stated.

He praised the level of cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia to maintain the stability of international oil markets. He stressed that the future of the two countries’ relations would rely on moderation and reforms and the leadership role of the Kingdom in the Arab world.

On the current situation in the region, the ambassador said: “As you know, we sent more troops to the region, not because we wanted to go to war, but it is clear that the Iranians thought we had left, and these forces are enough indication that we did not leave.”

He spoke about the negative role of Iran in the region and Yemen specifically, noting: “Do we really think that the Houthis have missiles that can be launched on their own without Iranian help? Does anybody believe that? No way.”

“We know that they’re receiving Iranian help and advice, and we know that they wouldn’t be launching their missiles towards Saudi Arabia without the Iranians telling them it’s a good idea to do so,” he added.

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