Saudi hopes Trump will bring better US ties
RIYADH - Longtime US ally Saudi Arabia on Monday said it hopes for strengthened relations under President Donald Trump.
At its weekly meeting chaired by King Salman, the cabinet cited "the strength of ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States and the wish to develop and reinforce them", the official Saudi Press Agency said.
The cabinet also conveyed its congratulations to Trump following his investiture last Friday.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-old relationship based on the exchange of American security for Saudi oil.
But ties between Riyadh and Washington became increasingly frayed during the eight-year administration of former president Barack Obama.
Saudi leaders felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and other regional conflicts.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said last week that he expects the Trump administration to be more engaged in the Middle East, and the world in general, while "rebuilding" relationships with allies.
Saudi Arabia is home to Islam's holiest sites and the kingdom sees itself as the guardian of the faith.
Trump has threatened to ban Muslims from the United States, while his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has argued that Islam is not a religion but a "political ideology."