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Top Saudi official holds talks with U.S. state, defense secretaries

Prince Khalid bin Salman

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister has said he discussed regional security and military cooperation with senior U.S. government officials at a time of heightened tension with Iran following last month’s attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

In posts on Twitter, Vice Minister of Defence Prince Khalid bin Salman, said he met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. 
Speaking of his talks with Pompeo, Prince Khalid added that Saudi Arabia and the United States “stand side by side in bolstering regional and international security and stability.”

Moreover, he added that he discussed along with Esper mutual security challenges and reaffirmed “strong military cooperation in countering terrorism and preserving peace and stability.” 

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Shi’ite Muslim Iran are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East including in Yemen and Syria. 

The Twitter posts made no mention of them discussing Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies launching attacks on Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Wednesday. 

Tensions in the Gulf region have risen since attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in May and June and more limited strikes on Saudi energy assets in recent months that Riyadh has also blamed on Iran. Tehran denies any involvement.