Saudi Arabia's King Salman meets with US Secretary of State Pompeo

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh on Thursday as part of his three-day trip to the Kingdom.

They discussed the distinguished relations between the Kingdom and the United States. They also reviewed the position of the two countries on regional and international events, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

During his time in Riyadh, Pompeo also met with a group of Saudi Arabian women business leaders at the residence of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud.

Pompeo visits Saudi air base

Following his meeting at the royal palace with the king, Pompeo headed to a Saudi air base where some 2,500 US troops are stationed in response to threats from Iran.

The US military presence in the kingdom at the Prince Sultan Air Base includes a squadron of US Air Force F-15E fighters that fly daily missions over Iraq and Syria and two American Patriot missile batteries prepared to knock down any Iranian attack against the Saudi kingdom.

American troops were sent to Saudi Arabia last summer as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to beef up the United States’ military presence in the Middle East in response to escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers and impose sanctions on the country.

Saudi Arabia and the US have blamed Iran for an attack last summer against Saudi oil facilities that temporarily halved the kingdom’s daily crude production. Iran denies involvement and its allied Yemeni rebel Houthi group says they were behind the attack.

Pompeo's arrival in Saudi Arabia

Pompeo arrived on Wednesday in Riyadh where is expected to discuss regional security after the US killing last month of a top Iranian general pushed the oil-producing region closer to an all-out war.

He was received at King Khalid International Airport by Princess Reema Bint Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, John Abizaid, the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Under Secretary of State for Protocol Affairs Azzam bin Abdul Karim Al-Qain.

- With agencies