The Obama administration on Monday attempted to address growing animosity from Saudi Arabia, which recently aired frustration over Washington’s outreach to Iran and its deferral of possible military action against Syria’s government, Reuters reported.
At a lunch meeting in Paris with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry voiced regret over Riyadh’s rejection of a short-term membership on the U.N. Security Council. Russia and China have stymied efforts on the body to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad over actions in his country’s civil war.
“Secretary Kerry conveyed that while it is Saudi Arabia’s decision to make, the U.S. values Saudi Arabia’s leadership in the region and the international community,” a high-level State Department insider said. “A seat on the UNSC affords member states the opportunity to engage directly.”
Saudi Arabia’s hostility toward Washington soared further over a U.S. decision to forgo immediate military action against Damascus in an effort to eliminate chemical weapons held by Assad’s forces. In addition, Riyadh has worried it could face increasing isolation if a détente emerges between Iran and the United States.
Saudi intelligence head Bandar bin Sultan told European envoys his nation would curb ties with Washington over its policies toward Tehran and Damascus, a Saudi political insider told Reuters on Tuesday.