U.S., Saudi Officials Discuss Regional Security and Military Cooperation

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister said on Thursday he discussed “regional security and military cooperation” with senior U.S. government officials, Reuters reports.

Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, who previously served as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, met separately with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Deputy minister Khalid bin Salman said he “discussed mutual security challenges in the region” with the U.S. leaders and “reaffirmed the strong military cooperation in countering terrorism and preserving peace and stability.”

The leaders from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia also discussed “ways to continue to strengthen the historic ties between our two countries,” Khalid bin Salman said on Twitter. “In our discussions we affirmed that the two countries stand side by side in bolstering regional and international security and stability.”

The meetings come nearly a month after a September 14th 2019, attack on key Saudi oil installations in which the U.S. and Saudi Arabia believe Iran played a role. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom jointly asserted Iran bears responsibility for it. Iran has denied any involvement.

Tensions in the Gulf region have risen since those attacks.