Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kerry Seeks to Soothe Relations with Saudi Arabia; 'Two Friendly Countries' Try to Mend Fences; MIDEAST

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kerry Seeks to Soothe Relations with Saudi Arabia; 'Two Friendly Countries' Try to Mend Fences; MIDEAST

Article excerpt

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 such as Syria, Iran and the Mideast 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 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Nevertheless, Kerry arrived for his visit to Saudi Arabia as differences between the two countries intensified over President Barack Obama's 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.

The prince told Kerry: "A true relationship between friends is based on sincerity, candor and frankness, rather than mere courtesy." The pair appeared together not long after Kerry, speaking to U.S. employees at the American Embassy here, hailed the kingdom's role as "the senior player" in the Middle East.

For his part, Kerry said: "This is a deep relationship and it has endured for 75 years and it will endure well into the future. …

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