WASHINGTON: Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, has met here with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the two sides affirmed their countries’ common vision to confront Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
They also discussed the latest developments in Yemen, with Prince Khalid reaffirming Saudi Arabia’s aspirations for the Yemenis “to reach a comprehensive political solution that would move Yemen to peace and development.”
“During the meeting, they reviewed the strategic and historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America and ways to strengthen them,” SPA said.
The deputy defense minister and his delegation began a series of meetings with key US officials last Tuesday, under the US-Saudi Strategic Joint Planning Committee, to review the Saudi-US partnership, and ongoing and future strategic military and defense cooperation between the two countries.
Prince Khalid had earlier met with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, among others.
He also met with US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking latest developments in Yemen.
“I affirmed to him the Saudi-led Coalition’s backing of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council and its supporting entities, and our aspirations for reaching a comprehensive political resolution to the crisis that will lead Yemen into peace and prosperity,” the deputy defense minister said in a tweet.
In his meeting with Blinken, Prince Khalid noted that while the announced truce between the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen and the Iran-backed Houthi militia remained positive to a “to a large extent”, there is an important role for the United Nations and the international community to play.
He said the UN and world organizations need “to put pressure on Houthi militias to open Taiz roads, deposit the revenues of Hodeida port and engage seriously in peace efforts to move Yemen to security, stability, construction and prosperity.”
Regarding Iran’s destabilizing activities, Prince Khalid and Blinken talked about security and diplomatic coordination “to confront Iranian threats, including dealing with Iran’s nuclear file and its program to develop ballistic missiles as well as its sponsorship of terrorism.”
The two sides also discussed various topics of common interest, mutual coordination and continuous cooperation on efforts in maintaining security, peace and stability in the region and the world.
SPA said the two sides further “reviewed developments the Kingdom is witnessing within the framework of its Vision 2030, commending the cooperation and dialogue between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.”
Prince Khalid welcomed US affirmation of the Kingdom’s support in developing its military capabilities and meeting its defense needs.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Ambassador to the US, Princess Rima bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber, and a number of senior Saudi and US officials.