US, Saudi Arabia looking at defense pact similar to S. Korea, Japan: NYT

According to US officials, the United States and Saudi Arabia would pledge to militarily support one another in the event that the other country is attacked in the Middle East or on Saudi territory.

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Washington and Riyadh are studying a potential defense pact similar to US military treaties with Japan and South Korea, US officials were reported as saying in a report published Tuesday.

The news comes as the Biden administration tries to broker an unprecedented normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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Saudi Arabia has several demands, including the recognition of a Palestinian state as well as US help with its civilian nuclear program and a defense agreement with Washington.

According to US officials who spoke to the New York Times, the US and Saudi Arabia would pledge to militarily support one another in the event that the other country is attacked in the Middle East or on Saudi territory.

According to the White House, just under 3,000 US troops are stationed inside Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, the US and Saudi Arabia conducted the largest-ever counter-UAS exercise in the Middle East, the American colonel overseeing the drills told Al Arabiya English.

The US treaties with South Korea and Japan allow for US troops to be deployed to each country, and if either the host country or the US troops are attacked, they will support one another.

These treaties typically need Congressional approval, which progressive Democrats are likely to oppose.

Nevertheless, US officials said Saudi-Israeli normalization would help ease tensions between Palestinians and Israelis and could potentially lure Saudi Arabia away from China, something the US has been trying to prevent.

Read more: Pentagon reaffirms US commitment to strong military ties with Saudi Arabia