Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman met with senior US officials, including President Joe Biden’s top diplomat, at the State Department on Wednesday as part of his official trip to Washington to discuss ways of boosting bilateral ties.
Prince Khalid met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and Counselor Derek Chollet, according to a statement from the State Department.
Discussions touched on “regional security, support for Saudi Arabia to defend itself from cross-border attacks, and improving human rights,” the State Department said.
Prince Khalid tweeted about his “great meeting” with Blinken to “discuss the strategic Saudi-US partnership, review the latest developments in the region, and explore ways to strengthen Saudi-US ties.”
State Department Spokesman Ned Price responds to a question from Al Arabiya English's Washington correspondent on the upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia by the French and US ambassadors to Lebanon:https://t.co/qUapo3Uk4k pic.twitter.com/Bvcu6oMIeH— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 8, 2021
The State Department said discussions also included the need for a ceasefire in Yemen as well as the “need for economic reform and humanitarian relief for the Lebanese people, and other key bilateral issues, including human rights.”
Prince Khalid’s meeting with US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking focused on the “steps necessary to end the conflict there,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told Al Arabiya English.
“Special Envoy Lenderking stressed the need for continued Saudi engagement on Yemen, allowing space for a nationwide comprehensive ceasefire followed by a transition to a Yemeni political process that would lead to a permanent solution to this conflict,” Price said during the daily briefing at the State Department.
Lenderking praised Saudi Arabia for its efforts to improve implementation of the Riyadh Agreement for Yemen, Price added.
Price also told Al Arabiya English that Prince Khalid and US officials discussed “areas where the United States and Saudi Arabia could potentially cooperate to address the crisis and to mitigate instability” in the Horn of Africa.
“They also agreed to continue a dialogue on mechanisms to promote peace, security, and prosperity in the Red Sea,” Price said.
On Tuesday, Prince Khalid met with the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl at the Pentagon.
He also met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior White House officials.
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