RIYADH: The US sees Saudi Arabia as a vital partner and America is committed to the defense of the Kingdom, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
“We have a strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia. We are committed to the defense of the Kingdom,” he said, welcoming Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to Washington for talks on Thursday.
“This partnership with Saudi Arabia is an important one, a vital one, and in terms of dealing with some of the most significant challenges we face, one that we are very appreciative of,” Blinken said, next to his Saudi counterpart at a press briefing.
Prince Faisal also praised the strong partnership between the two allies.
“Our relationship has delivered immense value for both of our countries, but not just for us, also for the region and for the world,” said Prince Faisal.
After their meeting, Blinken reiterated US condemnation of Houthi attacks on the Kingdom and American’s commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory and people, said Ned Price, State Department spokesperson.
The Saudi Foreign ministry said the diplomats highlighted the importance of promoting joint efforts to stop the continuous attacks carried out by the Houthi militia against civilian and economic facilities, terminate the threat it poses to international navigation and prevent it using the suffering of the Yemeni people for blackmail and as a bargaining chip.
Discussions also included “the common goal of reaching a durable solution to end the conflict in Yemen,” said Price.
Prince Faisal called the meeting fruitful, saying there had been discussions on “ways to strengthen our strategic partnership and cooperation on multiple fronts.”
The two parties also touched on Iran’s nuclear program and relevant international negotiations, said the Saudi ministry statement.
Prince Faisal and Secretary Blinken also stressed the importance of supporting all that ensures security and stability in Afghanistan.
Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar tweeted after the meeting: “Our two countries have strong and deep rooted relations that span decades, and we will continue to work together on all fronts to solidify our partnership.”
Ahead of the meeting, the pair said issues such as regional security, climate change and energy would be on the agenda.
“We have a lot of work that we’re doing together on a variety of very significant issues, from climate to energy to Yemen to Iran,” said Blinken.
Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat added: “We’re going to talk about regional security and how we can work together on that, but also, as you mentioned, climate change, energy, recovery from COVID-19.”