RIYADH: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he shares Saudi Arabia’s concerns over Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region on Thursday.
In a tweet, Austin added that he welcomed the Kingdom’s constructive efforts in advancing the current truce in Yemen which came into effect on April 2. He said the truce should be extended.
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman earlier met with the defense secretary during his visit to Washington for the US-Saudi Strategic Joint Planning Committee.
The officials reviewed the Saudi-US partnership, and ongoing and future strategic military and defense cooperation between the two countries.
Austin said it was a pleasure to meet with Prince Khalid and that the “US is committed to our strong partnership with Saudi Arabia.”
Prince Khalid also met with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, and the two reaffirmed the strength of the US-Saudi defense partnership.
“Dr. Kahl affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a strategic partner of the United States and underscored US commitment to supporting the Kingdom in defending itself against external threats.”
Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region was also discussed, and the prince and Khal agreed to increase cooperation and work to counter the smuggling of illicit weapons to violent non-state groups in the Middle East.