Interview with Saudi Foreign Minister

The wait for the interview with the minister takes six hours, but then he greets the journalists in a large conference room in a grand hotel in Munich. Adel al-Jubeir, 54, a slim, amiable man, wears a traditional robe and looks a bit fatigued. He and his counterparts spent the previous evening negotiating a cease-fire in Syria well into the night. And since early this morning, they have been busily discussing current global events. Al-Jubeir is the embodiment of a new breed of top Saudi Arabian leaders: He went to school in Germany and college in the United States and then served as the Saudi ambassador to Washington. In contrast to his longtime predecessor Prince Saud al-Faisal, who served as the country’s top diplomat for decades stretching from the oil crisis in the 1970s until early 2015, al-Jubeir is not a member of the royal family. At the time of his appointment as foreign minister last April, Saudi Arabia had just gone to war with neighboring Yemen and the situation in Syria was escalating. Al-Jubeir is now responsible for representing his country’s controversial foreign policy. And he allowed himself plenty of time to do so in this interview with SPIEGEL.

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