US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud launched on Wednesday the US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue in Washington, marking a new era in the two countries’ relations as they both seek to counter Iran's threat.
“Ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Al Saud first laid the foundation for our ties 75 years ago, Saudi Arabia has been an important partner in this volatile region,” said Pompeo after the dialogue’s inaugural.
“Our conversations this morning reflected a mutual willingness to grow not only our security and economic ties, but our whole partnership,” he said.
He revealed that the US is preparing to acquire a 26-acre site for a new US embassy in Riyadh.
On regional security, Pompeo said that Iran’s destabilizing behavior threatens Saudi Arabia’s security and disrupts world trade.
“That’s clear from Iran’s ballistic missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities in the fall of last year, and the frequent, ongoing Houthi bombardment of Saudi territory using rockets, drones, and other lethal technology supplied by the regime in Tehran,” he told the press.
“Today we reaffirmed our mutual commitment to countering Iranian malign activity, and the threat it poses to regional security and prosperity,” he added.
As for the Saudi FM, he said the Kingdom looks forward to expand its ties with the US.
“Our strong partnership is vital in confronting the forces of extremism and terrorism that threaten our security and prosperity,” said Prince Faisal.
He slammed the Iranian regime for its continued financial and material support to terrorist groups, including Yemen’s Houthis, who have launched more than 300 Iranian-made ballistic missiles and drones towards the Kingdom.
The actions of the Iranian regime and its malign activities represent a grave danger to the region and the world, he stated, adding: “We are both committed to counter and deter Iran’s destabilizing behavior.”
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien welcomed the release of two US nationals from Houthi custody in Yemen.
O'Brien thanked the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Oman for their help in securing the release of the Americans.