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Blinken, Saudi FM speak about Yemen, Iran: State Department

The top US diplomat reiterated Washington’s commitment to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defenses against threats in the region.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan discussed the recent Houthi terrorist attacks on the kingdom during a phone call, the State Department said on Monday.

“The Secretary again condemned the recent Houthi terrorist attacks against the Kingdom, and they discussed support for the UN’s proposal for a Ramadan truce in Yemen and efforts to launch a new, more inclusive and comprehensive peace process,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said.

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Blinken and Prince Faisal also talked about the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program, Price said in a statement.

The pair also discussed “building strong international support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity while holding President Putin accountable for his unprovoked and unlawful war.”

Price said that Blinken reiterated the US commitment to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defenses against threats in the region and emphasized the importance of protecting civilians in Yemen.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the two officials discussed strengthening bilateral ties and working together to provide a more stable and safe region.

Ties between Washington and Riyadh have been turbulent since the Biden administration took office. Among the first foreign policy moves made by US President Joe Biden seemingly targeted Saudi Arabia and other longtime Gulf allies.

The Biden administration has also been adamant on re-entering the now-defunct 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which would allow Tehran access to billions of dollars in return for curbing its nuclear program. However, the agreement does not address Iran’s support for militias and proxies across the Middle East or its ballistic missile program.

But the two sides continue to stress their commitment to ensuring strong bilateral relations endure.

Read more: CENTCOM chief bemoans delays in US weapons sales to Middle East allies

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