Prince Salman played down any apparent rift with the US leader.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has rejected US President Donald Trump’s comment that Saudi Arabia would not last more than two weeks without US help, arguing that the Gulf country, which came into existence much before America, can survive 2,000 years without facing any danger.
However, Prince Salman played down any apparent rift with the US leader, saying relations between the two allies remained strong.
“You have to accept that any friend will say good things and bad things. So you cannot have 100 per cent friends saying good things about you,” he said. “You will have some misunderstandings. So we put that in that category.”
Prince Mohammed also brushed aside Trump’s comments that Washington is “subsidising” the kingdom’s military. He insisted that the kingdom has always paid for armaments from the US.
“Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and America, we’ve bought everything with money.”
Prince Mohammed said he loved working with Trump. “We have achieved a lot in the Middle East, especially against extremism,” he said.
“Daesh disappeared in a very short time in Iraq and Syria, and a lot of extremist narratives have been demolished in the past two years.”
He said Trump and he worked together with more than 50 countries to agree on a common goal in the Middle East, which most countries are following.
He promised that the world can expect more social reforms in Saudi Arabia.
Talking about Yemen, Prince Mohammed said the conflict would end as soon as possible. “We don’t need that on our border. But, of course, we don’t need to have a new Hezbollah in the Arabian peninsula. No one wants to have Hezbollah in a strait through which about 15 per cent of the world trade goes through.”