Saudi Crown Prince called by US Secretary of Defense

The US Secretary of Defense has conducted a phone conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to reaffirm strategic ties.

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Saudi state television indicated that the US Secretary of State Lloyd Austin spoke with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Friday, to review bilateral relations and defense cooperation between Washington and Riyadh: a talk which confirms previous announcements made by the White House that bilateral talks would resume at a ‘counterpart to counterpart’ level.

Secretary of Defense Austin later indicated that talks between the two counterparts went in a productive fashion. Austin said that he reaffirmed the US’ commitment to assist Saudi Arabia in defending itself and condemned the Houthis’ recent drone attacks against the country. Furthermore, he also underlined the importance of the strategic partnership between both countries.

Although words by Mohammad bin Salman himself were not shared, Austin thanked the Crown Prince for the Kingdom’s effort in trying to find a peaceful political solution to the war in Yemen, and reiterated its commitment for confronting threats coming from Iran, in the region.

Jen Psaki, the White House Spokeswoman, indicated this week that Biden would have talks with the Saudi leadership very soon to recalibrate its ties with the Kingdom, and that these talks would be based on ‘counterpart to counterpart’ dialogue: a practise which was not followed during the former Trump administration.

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