Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Riyadh and Washington: Long-term Partnership to Confront Challenges | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the Second Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence will hold a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House today as part of his visit to the United States. White House spokesman Eric Schultz confirmed that the meeting will discuss efforts to establish security, cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia in the context of the international coalition to combat ISIS and address regional conflicts in Yemen and Syria. The Saudi plan to diversify the economy and implement reforms will also be discussed.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter held a meeting yesterday afternoon for more than two hours. According to the Pentagon “fruitful discussions” that addressed “a wide range of issues, including developments in the war against ISIS, assessing the progress of the international coalition’s efforts and the means that are available to strengthen those efforts” were held. In addition to this, “the situation in Yemen and ways of strengthening efforts to combat Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” were discussed.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Deputy Crown Prince said “I am today in a country that is an ally to the kingdom” and added that his visit comes “at a very sensitive time during which the region is faced by many threats” that stem from “the instability of some countries, interference in the internal affairs of some countries or terrorism.” He also stressed that Saudi Arabia, the United States and their allies “have a very important role to play in confronting these dangers”.

On his part, Carter said that he looked forward to “a productive meeting” that aims to “build a close security relationship between our two countries”. Prince Mohammed bin Salman also held a meeting with the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker yesterday and they reviewed trade and developments in this field.

The aforementioned meetings were held the day after the Deputy Crown Prince held extensive meetings with leaders and members of Congress. In the wake of those meetings, the Republican Senator Tom Cotton emphasised the depth of cooperation and close partnership between his country and Saudi Arabia in various fields. In a statement that he made, he said “I appreciate the fruitful and frank exchange of views with the Deputy Crown Prince, which reflects the close and long-term partnership between our two countries. Our main focus was on mutual security interests, including counter terrorism efforts against Al-Qaeda and Daesh and the threat posed by Iranian aggression in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Middle East.”

Senator Cotton added, “We also discussed economic issues, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 – a promising initiative by the Deputy Crown Prince that will lead to the diversification and development of the Saudi economy in the 21st century and in the coming years.” He also stressed that the common interests of the two countries will continue to address previous challenges and seize new opportunities, and that he looks forward to working with the Deputy Crown Prince to achieve the common interests of the two countries, and building a world of peace and prosperity.