Saudi Arabia welcomes US President Joe Biden's speech

US commits to defence of the kingdom despite ending support for offensive against rebels in Yemen

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the State Department in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. In his inaugural visit to the department, Biden said he is halting or reversing a slew of foreign policy initiatives from the Trump administration, including troop drawdowns in Germany and support for a Saudi-led offensive in Yemen that turned into a humanitarian disaster. Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia welcomed US President Joe Biden's pledge to continue co-operation with the kingdom in defending its sovereignty and confronting threats.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the United States' commitment, expressed in President Biden's speech today, to co-operate with the kingdom in defending its security and territory," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Twitter after Mr Biden made his first foreign policy speech at the State Department on Thursday.

A statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency said the kingdom looked forward to working with the US "to address regional challenges, including advancing the Middle East peace process, resolving conflicts and promoting stability in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel countries, as well as confronting terrorism and extremism".
Saudi Arabia said it would continue working towards peace in Yemen after Mr Biden announced that the US would end support for the Saudi-led military coalition backing the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels. 
"‏The kingdom reiterates its firm stance in supporting efforts to achieve a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen," the statement said.

Adel Al Jubeir, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said Mr Biden's speech was historic.

"He confirmed America's commitment to work with friends and allies to resolve conflicts and deal with challenges. We look forward to working with our friends in the US to end conflicts and confront challenges, as we have for over seven decades," Mr Al Jubeir said.

"Our countries have spilt blood in the liberation of Kuwait and in combating Al Qaeda, including in Yemen, and Daesh in Syria, and we will continue to stand together to stand up to our common enemies," Mr Al Jubeir said.