King Salman discusses with Trump defence ties and need for oil market stability
WASHINGTON--During a phone call Friday, US President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud “reaffirmed the strong United States-Saudi defense partnership” and agreed on “the importance of stability in global energy markets,” the White House said.
According to the official Saudi news agency SPA, the two leaders “affirmed historic and strategic relations between the two countries and the achievements of such a distinct relation, at all levels.”
The two leaders, it added, “reasserted keenness on continuation of their joint endeavors to consolidate regional security and stability,” as King Salman “pointed to the Kingdom’s exerted efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen and the Coalition initiative for ceasefire to back up the UN envoy efforts in this regard.”
According to SPA, Trump “stressed the US commitment to protect its interests as well as the security of its allies, in the region, and its determination to confront any act that may destabilize the region and re-emphasized US support for all efforts exerted to reach a political solution for the Yemeni crisis.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump and King Salman “agreed on the importance of stability in global energy markets, and reaffirmed the strong United States-Saudi defense partnership.”
“The president and King Salman also discussed other critical regional and bilateral issues and their cooperation as leaders of the G7 and G20, respectively,” he added.
Trump worked last month to persuade Saudi Arabia to cut its oil output after an increase in production during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic put heavy pressure on US oil producers.
The US statement on the two leaders’ meeting did not mention the planned withdrawal of Patriot anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia that have been a defence against Iran, and the White House declined further comment.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Friday media reports that the missiles would be withdrawn, but said it did not signal a decrease in US support for Saudi Arabia and was not an effort to pressure Riyadh on oil issues. He also said it did not mean Washington thought Iran was no longer a threat.
“Those Patriot batteries had been in place for some time. Those troops needed to get back,” Pompeo told the Ben Shapiro radio show. “This was a normal rotation of forces.”
(With news agencies).