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 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.
Just met with Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Prince @kbsalsaud at the Pentagon to discuss defense cooperation & regional security concerns. We reaffirmed our commitment & longstanding U.S.-Saudi partnership. pic.twitter.com/CaLOI9viQT
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) August 29, 2019