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Kerry Downplays US-Saudi Tensions

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends a news conference for the start of a European tour regarding Syria, at the U.S. Ambassador residence in Paris, Oct. 21, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends a news conference for the start of a European tour regarding Syria, at the U.S. Ambassador residence in Paris, Oct. 21, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is downplaying reports of a significant rift between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Kerry said Tuesday he is "convinced we are on the same page," following his meeting Monday in Paris with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

Kerry also said Washington would continue to consult with Saudi Arabia, as it always has, on issues of mutual concern.

Saudi officials have been expressing frustration and anger with the United States over Washington's failure to launch military strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following the regime's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in August.

Riyadh also has been concerned about the direction of nuclear talks - and a possible reconciliation - between the U.S. and Iran.

Kerry said the Saudis were "obviously disappointed" about the lack on a U.S. air strike against the Syrian government, but added that his meeting Monday with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister was constructive.

Reuters reported Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has told diplomats the kingdom would make a "major shift'' in relations with the U.S.
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