By Arab News
Disagreement between Saudi Arabia and the US was “not political” but “purely economic,” the Kingdom’s ambassador to Washington said on Tuesday.
Speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson, Princess Reema bint Bandar said the Kingdom did not “engage in the politics of anyone, we engage simply as a balancer and a stabiliser of the economy through the energy market, as we’ve done historically.
“It’s clear we’re at a point of disagreement. And many people have tried to politicise this, but you’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth. This is not political. This is purely economic, based on the expertise of 40 or 50 years of mapping and trends,” she added.
Refuting accusations that the Kingdom was siding with Russia in its war in Ukraine, Princess Reema noted that Saudi Arabia was actually a “mediator and a communicator” in the conflict.
“The relationship that we had with Russia is what allowed us to free prisoners of war: two Americans, five Brits, one Croat, and a selection from other countries.
“We’ve supported Ukraine humanitarianly, we have given over $400 million, we collaborated with Ukraine and Poland to give $10 million to allow for the refugees that were coming out of Ukraine and spilling into Poland a safe landing.
“That’s what we do. That’s the value of our engagement. Is it siding with Russia? No,” the princess said.
The envoy pointed out that talk of reforming the strategic Saudi-US relationship was a move in the right direction.
She added: “I hear a lot of people talk about reforming or reviewing the relationship with the Kingdom. And I think, actually, that’s a positive thing.
“This Kingdom is not the Kingdom it was five years ago. It’s not the Kingdom that it was 10 years ago. So, every piece of analysis that existed is no longer relevant.
“We are a young population, we have young leadership, we have an aspiration and a goal to engage with the world in a way we never did before.”