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Blinken tells Saudi FM that US committed to supporting defense of Saudi Arabia

Published: Updated:

The top US diplomat Monday reiterated Washington’s commitment to ensuring Saudi Arabia is able to defend itself amid an uptick in cross-border attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

“Secretary Blinken reiterated our commitment to supporting the defense of Saudi Arabia and strongly condemned recent attacks against Saudi territory from Iranian-aligned groups in the region,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said after a call between Antony Blinken and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

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Saudi Arabia on Monday revealed a new proposal for a ceasefire to the yearslong war in Yemen. The new proposal would include a nationwide ceasefire to be implemented under the United Nations' supervision, Prince Faisal said earlier.

A senior Houthi official played down the proposal almost immediately, according to Reuters.

The Yemeni group continues to target Saudi Arabia and civilians in the Kingdom with bomb-laden drones and ballistic missiles on an almost daily basis.

During the call between Prince Faisal and Blinken, the pair discussed cooperation to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, to end the war in Yemen. “Additionally, they discussed the importance of stabilizing the Yemeni economy,” Price said.

Blinken also commended Saudi Arabia’s “ongoing social and economic reforms” while underscoring the importance of continued progress on human rights.

Read more: Arab Coalition strikes hit Houthi missiles' workshops in Yemen's Sanaa