Saudi, US defense ministers meet at Pentagon


Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman visited the Pentagon on Thursday and held a bilateral meeting on security issues of mutual concern with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Carter hosted an enhanced honor cordon to welcome his guest, on the steps of the Pentagon’s river entrance.

Upon arrival, Secretary Carter welcomed Prince Mohammed back to the Pentagon and gave the following statement:

“This is our 10th in-depth conversation, and I am grateful for his hospitality and the gulf cooperation council in April in Riyadh and I’ve had the honor to host in here back last September and I look forward to another productive meeting to build a close security relationship between our countries”.

“We’ll be discussing ways to further cooperate on conventional and asymmetric threats in the region these include delivering ISIL a lasting defeat, addressing the situation in Yemen, and countering Iran’s belying influence. We’ll also discuss joint capabilities including expanded coordination on special operation forces. I want to thank HRH (Mohammed bin) Salman for making this journey, and I look forward to this conversation,” added Carter.

In his remarks, Mohammed bin Salman said:

“I am today in a country that is an ally to the kingdom, in a very sensitive time, in a kind of region with many threats surrounding us… either when it comes to the instability of some countries or the interference in the internal affairs of countries, or terrorism.”

“The US and its allies in the region have the responsibility to meet and deal with these challenges that might pose as a threat to the entire world and today we are working hard and seriously to face these challenges,” added Prince Mohammed.

The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince is currently visiting the United States. He has so far met with Secretary of State John Kerry and high-profile members of Congress and US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from the state of Arkansas, earlier stressed the depth of cooperation and close partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia in various fields.

In a statement issued on Wednesday after the visit of Prince Mohammed, the senator said: “I appreciate the fruitful and frank exchange of views with the deputy crown prince, which reflects the close and long-term partnership between our two countries. Our main focus was on mutual security interests, including counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaeda and Da’esh (ISIS) and the threat posed by Iranian aggression in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Middle East.”

“We also discussed economic issues, including the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2030, a promising initiative by the deputy crown prince that will lead to the diversification and development of the Saudi economy in the 21st century and in the coming years,” Cotton said in the statement.

Senator Cotton stressed that the common interests of the two countries will continue to face previous challenges and seize new opportunities, looking forward to working with the deputy crown prince to achieve the common interests of the two countries, and build a world of peace and prosperity.

Source:http: english.alarabiya.net

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