SMA NEWS – RIYADH
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman met on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington.
“I had a great meeting with US Secretary of State Blinken to discuss the strategic Saudi-US partnership, review the latest developments in the region, and explore ways to strengthen Saudi-US ties,” Prince Khalid said following the meeting.
He also held talks with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland during his visit, where they reviewed the coordination between their two countries and discussed opportunities for cooperation over a wide range of issues, Prince Khalid added.
The State Department said during talks between Prince Khalid and Nuland, the two sides discussed regional security and support for Saudi Arabia to defend itself from cross-border attacks.
“Blinken joined the group for part of the meeting to discuss efforts to achieve a comprehensive, nationwide cease-fire and transition to a political process in Yemen, the need for economic reform and humanitarian relief for the Lebanese people, and other key bilateral issues,” it added in a statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, the deputy defense minister met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to review international efforts and joint coordination between Saudi Arabia and the US, including “confronting extremism, violence and terrorism, and the related dangers that threaten the security, capabilities, stability and coexistence of peoples,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
They also discussed other aspects of bilateral cooperation and joint work between the two countries in various fields.
Prince Khalid also met US Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking, US National Security Council’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, and US Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Prince Khalid said that in his meeting with Lenderking they discussed developments in Yemen.
He affirmed the Kingdom’s continued support for the Yemeni people and their legitimate government.
He also discussed with the Lenderking the latest efforts to reach a political resolution to the conflict that will achieve stability and security in Yemen.
The US envoy “stressed the need for continued Saudi engagement on Yemen,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, adding: “Lenderking recognized Saudi Arabia for its efforts to improve implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, and he agreed that both the Yemeni government and the Southern Transition Council must continue to negotiate so that the Yemeni government can return to Aden to provide the essential services the Yemeni people need and deserve.”
Prince Khalid discussed the latest developments in the Horn of Africa in his meeting with Feltman, as well as “the situation in Ethiopia, in areas where the US and Saudi Arabia could potentially cooperate to address the crisis and to mitigate instability in the broader region. They also agreed to continue a dialogue on mechanisms to promote peace, security, and prosperity in the Red Sea,” Price said in a press briefing.
Prince Khalid also reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to support the security and stability of the African continent, and its efforts to aid its progress and development.
Saudi Ambassador to the Washington Princess Reema Bint Bandar was also present in the meetings.