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U.S., Saudi Arabia downplay diplomatic disputes

Tue., Nov. 5, 2013, midnight

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The United States and Saudi Arabia promised each other and the region Monday that they would continue to work together, with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal saying “our two friendly countries” are busy dealing jointly with troublesome issues like Syria, Iran and the Middle East peace process.

“There is no room for emotion and anger here, but rather for policies of common sense and level-headedness,” Saud said at a joint news conference.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for his visit to Saudi Arabia as differences between the two countries intensified over the Obama administration’s policy toward war-torn Syria, its movement toward a possible dialogue with Iran – a regional rival of the Saudis – and its stance on Egypt’s military coup.

Saud also expressed his deep frustration with the United Nations, where the Saudis recently rejected a seat on the Security Council because of its inability to achieve progress in Syria or for the Palestinians.

Kerry in the past has played down the separate stances as differences in “tactics” rather than in the end goal.


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