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Despite China tilt, Saudi Arabia still wants U.S. engagement

Events since Iraq War push Riyadh to pursue 'hedging strategy'

U.S. President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman walk together at the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in Saudi Arabia in July.    © Pool photo/Reuters

TOKYO -- A China-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic relations has served as a powerful reminder of the waning U.S. presence in the Middle East. But even as leaders in Riyadh and Tehran tilt toward Beijing, they are still hoping for renewed U.S. engagement.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian began the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Thursday with a phone conversation following their recent agreement.

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