US vows support for Gulf defense



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 22 March 2014

Last update 23 March 2014 2:23 am

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WASHINGTON: Senior American officials have emphasized the commitment of the US to security in the Gulf during talks held in Washington with Prince Salman bin Sultan, deputy defense minister.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel hosted Prince Salman bin Sultan for talks at the Pentagon in Washington.
Saudi Ambassador to the US Adil Al-Jubeir also attended the reception accorded to Prince Salman.
While Hagel made clear to Prince Salman bin Sultan that the US would continue its diplomacy with Iran, he underscored the importance of US-Saudi military cooperation, a defense official said.
“Hagel stressed our position on Iran has not changed,” said the senior US official.
The US official said the two discussed the current situation in Arabian Gulf states.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the strength of the US-Saudi relationship, with Secretary Hagel emphasizing the commitment of the US to security in the region,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.
“They also discussed regional challenges and the importance of regional cooperation in addressing common security issues.”
Prince Salman earlier met Deputy Secretary of State William Burns during his first visit to Washington since taking over as deputy defense minister in August.
Prince Salman previously served in the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
During the current official visit to the US, Prince Salman bin Sultan also met with Michael Lumpkin, assistant secretary of defense for special operations, Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, director of defense security cooperation agency, and other senior US officials.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington organized a dinner in honor of the visiting deputy defense minister on Thursday.

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