Europe

Saudis optimistic about relations with US under Trump

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens while attending the meeting with students and teachers of the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Lavrov is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Germany later this week. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens while attending the meeting with students and teachers of the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Lavrov is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Germany later this week. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says his country expects to have a productive relationship with the Trump administration and is optimistic that U.S.-Saudi cooperation can overcome challenges in the Middle East.

Adel al-Jubeir made the comments on Thursday at the top of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is on his first overseas trip as America's top diplomat. Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was looking forward to working with the U.S on numerous issues.

He did not elaborate but Saudi Arabia has deep concerns about Iran's increasing assertiveness in the region and he and Tillerson were to attend larger meetings on the crises in Yemen and Syria on the sidelines of a gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 world powers in nearby Bonn.

Tillerson made no substantive remarks in the presence of reporters, limiting his comments to polite chatter about his past business travel experience as CEO of Exxon Mobil.