UPDATED 6:50 PM PT – Tuesday, July 6, 2021
The Biden administration finally revealed a high level meeting with top officials from Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Prince Khalid bin Salman was set to meet with top State Department and Department of Defense officials as well as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
The White House kept the meeting close to their chest until Tuesday, despite the Wall Street Journal reports on the event the previous weekend. Psaki claimed officials would talk about regional security, strategies against Iran and the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“As you know, we work to declassify a report that names specific officials who we felt or who our intelligence committee, I should say, were involved with and knowledgeable of the horrific death of Jamal Khashoggi,” she expressed. “Beyond that, I can tell you that, of course, this could be a topic, but I’m not going to discuss additional details.”
Great meeting w/Saudi Vice MinDef HRH Prince Salman today to discuss regional security & stability, countering Iran, the urgency of ending the war in Yemen & US support for Saudi’s defense of its borders from Houthi attacks. https://t.co/fJmqhPToIe
— Colin Kahl (@DOD_Policy) July 6, 2021
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl met with Prince Khalid later on Tuesday to restore the defense relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. A press release from Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Jamal Brown revealed discussions related to regional security and stability, with focus on the war in Yemen.
Experts believe the meeting aims to mend relations between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. after the Biden administration started off in a more adversarial tone compared to the Trump administration.