Faisal bin Farhan: Saudi Arabia sees 'excellent' ties ahead with Biden administration

Saudi foreign minister says US president's staff appointments 'show understanding of the common issues' facing both countries

epa08937052 A handout photo made available by the press service of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry shows Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud during a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov following their talks in Moscow, Russia, 14 January 2021. The Saudi foreign minister is on a working visit to Moscow.  EPA/RUSSIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY HANDOUT -- MANDATORY CREDIT -- HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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Saudi Arabia is optimistic it will have "excellent relations" with the US under new President Joe Biden, the kingdom's foreign minister said.

"I am optimistic. Saudi Arabia has built solid, historical relations where it worked with different administrations. We will continue to do that as well with President Biden," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Al Arabiya TV.

Mr Biden, vice president under Barack Obama, was inaugurated on Wednesday and signed a flurry of executive orders in his first few days in office.

Prince Faisal said the people Mr Biden appointed in his government "showed understanding of the common issues" facing the two nations.

Saudi Arabia will keep working with Washington on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Prince Faisal said was weak because of a lack of regional co-ordination.

Mr Biden's predecessor Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in 2018.

"I believe basically the consultations will be around reaching a solid and strong agreement that takes into account Iran's failure to comply ... with strong monitoring factors to ensure the implementation of the agreement," Prince Faisal said.

Mr Biden said that if Tehran resumed strict compliance with the agreement then Washington would too.