Defense Secretary Esper, Saudi counterpart talk bilateral ties, security at Pentagon

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:32 PM PT — Thursday, August 29, 2019

Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently met with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman at the Pentagon for diplomatic talks. The two officials focused on the ongoing conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting militants backed by Iran.

The sides also discussed bilateral security ties as well as the sale of U.S. weapons and military equipment to Riyadh, and efforts to address security challenges in the Middle East.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, during their meeting at the Pentagon, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Secretary Esper praised the Saudi contribution to protecting U.S. interests in the region.

“Prince Sultan Air Base is an important base that allows us to foster troops and equipment and protect our shared interests throughout the region,” stated the U.S. defense secretary. “This is a critical time for our countries to continue to work together as there are many threats to stability throughout the Middle East.”

The Saudi minister thanked the U.S. for ongoing support, and said the kingdom will work to deescalate regional tensions and mitigate emerging threats.