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US: We Want to Partner with KSA to Face Threats, Specifically Malign Iranian Influence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East

The United States affirmed the strategic partnership for the 21st century with Saudi Arabia in the security realm to face threats in the region, specifically the malign Iranian influence, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones said.

In a special briefing on the US President Donald Trump trip to the Kingdom, Jones highlighted the “US commitment to expand our decades-long security relationship with the Saudis”, saying that the military and commercial agreements with Saudi Arabia aimed at supporting the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, thus bolstering the kingdom’s ability in facing terrorism operations across the region, and reducing the already heavy burden on the US.

“We want our security partner, the Saudis, to have the – what they need to secure their borders and to secure their region, and also to send a strong message that we will stand by our security partners,” Jones added.

Speaking on the ETIDAL center, which is the Global Center for Countering Extremist Ideology, Jones said the United States is still elaborating on how exactly it is going to participate in this Saudi project.

Jones said the US should respond to the Saudi invitation to participate in this center and decide on a way to contribute, adding that the US would “certainly benefit from the Saudi expertise in this area”.

Moreover, the Assistant Secretary underscored the importance of the statement that followed the GCC-US summit, describing it as “a very strong message” to deter Iran’s malevolent interventions in the region, especially in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria.

Jones also praised the Arab-Islamic-US summit during which the entire Islamic world came together and the United States expressed respect for Islam. 55 states came together with the United States and jointly condemned extremism, he added.

Jones said he was also taken by the “tremendous spirit” that day and the very positive statements against extremism by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, prime minister of Indonesia, and King Abdullah of Jordan.