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Senior US diplomat talks Yemen, Lebanon with Saudi officials

Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan and A/S Lempert discussed bilateral ties and ways to strengthen relations between Washington and Riyadh.

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The top US diplomat for the Middle East met with Saudi officials in Riyadh Monday to discuss regional stability, including the situations in Yemen and Lebanon.

Acting US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Yael Lempert held meetings with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir and Hodaal-Helaissi of the Saudi Shura Council.

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Prince Faisal and Lempert discussed bilateral ties and ways to strengthen relations between Washington and Riyadh, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The pair also spoke about the continued Houthi attacks on civilians and the Iran-backed group’s persistence in blocking a political solution to the yearslong war in Yemen, the SPA said.

For her part, Lempert “reaffirmed support for Saudi defense of its territory.”

With al-Jubeir, talks focused on Lebanon, “and cooperation to strengthen multilateral efforts for a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the conflict in Yemen,” the State Department said.

Lempert and Helaissi discussed how recent advances had changed the lives of Saudi women, including major increases in women’s participation in the workforce.

The US diplomat also met with GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf to review “security cooperation and efforts to build a more peaceful, stable, prosperous future for all countries in the Gulf region.”

Lempert is on a tour of countries in the region, which have seen her make stops in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. She’s also set to visit Kuwait and Bahrain before returning to Washington.

In Amman, she led an interagency delegation, which also included Senior National Security Director Barbara Leaf. Both sides discussed security cooperation and the US officials thanked Jordan for its work to advance regional peace and stability, according to the State Department.

Read more: UN Security Council issues veiled criticism of Lebanon’s Hezbollah

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