Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the US was a key partner in the defense purchase, but said the Kingdom has a number of other options to reinforce its defense and armament systems in case American equipment could not be obtained. .
In an interview with CNN’s Nic Robertson, hours after US President Joe Biden left Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal stressed that his country sees the United States as a key partner in the Kingdom’s defensive purchases.
He added, however, that if the Kingdom was unable to obtain American weapons, it would look for other suppliers.
“We will buy missile defense systems, or any defensive weapons, from which we can find the best solutions for our needs,” he told CNN, when asked if his country would buy missile defense systems. missiles to China.
He continued, “We’re always looking for what’s best for us…what fits our technology needs, but we’re not going to make ourselves exclusive to one vendor or the other because it doesn’t make business sense. .
The Saudi minister stressed that the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have a unified position regarding the Iranian threat, adding that all GCC members communicate with Tehran to resolve differences through dialogue.
In this regard, he said that the talks between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Biden focused on ways to deal with the Iranian threat and the need to exert the necessary pressure to push Iranians to sit down. the negotiating table.
The foreign minister said he hopes Iranians will take advantage of the incentives offered, which include better integration in the region and economic cooperation with their neighbors, in a way that guarantees huge benefits to the Iranian people.
He added that the Kingdom was working with the United States and others in the region to build capacity against any possible Iranian aggression.
In this context, Brigadier General Dr. Fawaz Al-Enezi, a Saudi security expert and strategic analyst, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the various sources of threats compel Saudi Arabia to keep pace with changes and take advantage of all the military options available, whether from the East or the West.
The option of heading east, to China, Korea or Japan, aims to take advantage of the development they have in industries and make it a strategic choice, he added.