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Biden adds Saudi Arabia to his apology list over ISIS - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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US Vice President Joe Biden answers questions from students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on Thursday, October 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

US Vice President Joe Biden answers questions from students at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on Thursday, October 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Washington, Reuters—US Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday added Saudi Arabia to the list of Middle Eastern countries to which he “clarified” remarks he made last week suggesting they had supported Islamist militants in Syria.

He apologized to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates last weekend for having said US allies in the region were partly to blame for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Syria. He made the statements in a question-and-answer session with students at Harvard University.

“Vice President Biden spoke today with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal,” Biden’s office said in a statement.

“The vice president thanked the foreign minister for Saudi Arabia’s strong support in the shared fight against [ISIS] and he clarified his recent remarks regarding the early stages of the conflict in Syria. The two agreed that the issue was closed.”

Biden had said US allies in the region, many now participating in a coalition to fight ISIS, had poured millions of dollars into Syrian groups fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad, which strengthened the Islamist factions there.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest strongly defended Biden on Monday as a core member of Obama’s foreign policy team.

“The vice president is somebody who has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake,” said Earnest.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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