Khalid Bin Salman discusses regional security, military cooperation with Pompeo

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Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Defense Khalid Bin Salman, left, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are seen in this file photo. — SPA

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Defense Khalid Bin Salman said on Thursday he discussed regional security and military cooperation with senior US government officials amid heightened tension in the region.

Prince Khalid said in Twitter posts that he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Saudi Arabia and the United States "stand side by side in bolstering regional and international security and stability", Prince Khalid said of his talks with Pompeo.

He and Esper discussed mutual security challenges and reaffirmed "strong military cooperation in countering terrorism and preserving peace and stability," Prince Khalid said.

The Twitter posts made no mention of them discussing Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies launching attacks on Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Wednesday.

Tensions in the Gulf region have risen since attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in May and June and attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais in September that Riyadh has also blamed on Iran. Tehran denies any involvement.

Saudi Arabia has supported Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran after President Donald Trump last year withdrew from an international nuclear pact and re-imposed sanctions, saying the deal was flawed as it does not curb Iran’s ballistic missile program or its support for regional proxies. — AFP


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