Saudi Arabia can 'bridge the gap' between the U.S. and China, finance minister says

The Saudi kingdom and the United States have a relationship that dates back to the 1930s, and which has been summed up in broad terms as one of Saudi oil in exchange for

American-provided security. China, meanwhile, has for years been making inroads — especially economically — as Saudi Arabia's top trading partner and the largest buyer of its

oil. Saudi Arabia can help be a conduit between the U.S. and China at a time of heightened geopolitical tensions, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said Monday at the

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The comments came amid questions over what the minister was most worried about in 2023. He called for calm and cooperation,

noting his country's ability to maintain an open dialogue with all major political powers amid Russia's war in Ukraine, competition between Washington and Beijing, and a volatile

energy market. "I really think that we need to focus on collaboration, cooperation, avoiding more geopolitical tensions, and calling for calm and political solutions to

geopolitical tensions," al-Jadaan told CNBC's Hadley Gamble. "We made our position very clear on these issues — whether it is in the general assembly in the United Nations

or other forums." Asked about Saudi Arabia's ability to facilitate dialogue between adversarial powers like the U.S. and China, al-Jadaan said: "I would say absolutely yes.

We have a very strategic relationship with the U.S., and we have a close relationship with China, and we think we can bridge the gap."