Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz received on Tuesday US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and discussed strategic cooperation between Riyadh and Washington.
King Salman and Esper also discussed a number of joint security and defense issues, in addition to the latest developments in the region and efforts exerted toward them.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Interior, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz al-Assaf.
Following his meeting with King Salman, Esper said that Washington aimed to bring US troops withdrawing from Syria back to the US, and not for them to stay in Iraq “interminably.”
“The aim isn’t to stay in Iraq interminably, the aim is to pull our soldiers out and eventually get them back home,” Esper said in front of a Patriot missile battery at the Prince Sultan Air Base near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Esper said the details had not yet been worked out on how long the US troops would stay in Iraq and he would be having discussions with his Iraqi counterpart on Wednesday.