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Saudi Arabia says relations with Turkey 'good and amicable'

Meanwhile, Saudi foreign minister predicts 'strong cooperation' with the Joe Biden administration
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives a virtual speech during an opening session of the 15th annual G20 leaders summit in Riyadh, on 21 November 2020 (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Saturday that his country had "good and amicable" relations with Turkey and that there was no data to suggest that there was an informal boycott of Turkish products.

He also said that the kingdom, along with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, was continuing to seek a way to end a dispute with Qatar, although they continued to want to address legitimate security concerns. 

Meanwhile, Prince Faisal said that he was confident Democrat Joe Biden's incoming US administration would pursue policies that help regional stability and that any discussions with it would lead to strong cooperation.

"I'm confident that a Biden administration would continue to pursue policies that are in the interest of regional stability," Prince Faisal told Reuters in a virtual interview on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit, which his country is hosting.

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The two countries have had good relations for more than 75 years, he said, adding: "Any discussions we will have with the future administration will lead to strong cooperation."

Prince Faisal also said it would be "entirely appropriate" for the United States to designate the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen as a foreign terrorist organisation.

Washington sees the group as an extension of Iranian influence in the region. President Donald Trump's administration has been threatening to blacklist the group, sources have told Reuters, as part of its "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran.

Close personal ties

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman enjoyed close personal ties with Trump, and their relationship provided a buffer against international criticism over Riyadh's rights record, sparked by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Riyadh's role in Yemen's war and the detention of women's rights activists.

Those areas may now become points of friction between Biden and Saudi Arabia, a major oil exporter and buyer of US arms.