U.S. Defense Secretary Calls Saudi Crown Prince, Reaffirms Strategic Ties | World News

DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, state media stated on Friday, days after the White Home stated it could take care of the king, not his inheritor, and U.S. officers would have interaction their counterparties within the kingdom.

Crown Prince Mohammed, who can be Saudi Defence Minister, reviewed bilateral relations with Austin, particularly in defence cooperation, state information company SPA stated.

Austin reaffirmed the significance of the strategic defence partnership between the 2 international locations, and stated the US was dedicated to serving to Riyadh defend itself, condemning assaults launched into the dominion by the Houthi group in Yemen.

Austin stated in an announcement he had a productive name.

“We mentioned the continued dedication to the 70 yr US-Saudi safety partnership, and I am wanting ahead to working collectively to attain regional safety & stability,” he stated.

U.S. President Joe Biden stated this week he plans to recalibrate U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and can conduct diplomacy by means of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz moderately than his highly effective son the crown prince, extensively known as MbS.

Biden is returning to “counterpart to counterpart” engagement, the White Home stated.

Saudi has led a navy coalition combating the Iran-aligned Houthi motion in Yemen since early 2015.

Austin thanked MbS for Saudi efforts in the direction of a political answer in Yemen and stated the 2 international locations had a shared dedication to confronting the menace posed by the Iranian management within the area, the SPA report of the assembly stated.

MbS is taken into account by many to be the dominion’s de facto chief and is subsequent in line to the throne held by 85-year-old King Salman. MbS’s status suffered a blow after the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 by the hands of Saudi safety personnel seen as near the crown prince.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump maintained regular contact with the crown prince by means of his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington, Enhancing by William Maclean)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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