Saudi Arabia FM does not rule out arms purchase from China

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Berlin, Germany on February 21, 2020. [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency]

The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister said yesterday that if his country fails to acquire US military equipment, it will pursue it somewhere else.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud added in an interview with CNN's, Nic Robertson, which took place only hours after US President Joe Biden left Saudi Arabia, that his country sees the United States as a key partner in the Kingdom's defensive purchases.

He said that if his country fails to get US arms, it will look for alternative suppliers. When asked by CNN's Nic Robertson if Saudi Arabia will not buy missile defence systems from China, bin Farhan said, "We will buy missile defence systems, or any defensive weapons, from where we can find the best solutions for our needs."

"We are always looking for what is best for us … what fits our technological needs, but we are not going to make ourselves exclusive to one supplier or the other because this doesn't make commercial sense."

READ: US, Saudi agree on stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons in joint statement

The American President's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he attended the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, is the first of its kind since Biden took office in 2021. The leaders and representatives of other Arab Gulf States, as well as of Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq also attended the Summit.

The long-standing Saudi-Iranian conflict has been a key motive behind Riyadh's endeavour to pursue ballistic missiles from suppliers other than the United States, especially after the United States has reduced its arms sales to the Kingdom.