Iran’s hostile practices figure high in Deputy Crown Prince, Mattis talks

Iran’s hostile practices figure high in Deputy Crown Prince, Mattis talks

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Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, holds talks with US Defense Secretary James Mattis at his office in Riyadh on Wednesday. – SPA photo

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, held wide-ranging talks with US Defense Secretary James Mattis at his office in Riyadh on Wednesday.

They discussed bilateral relations and ways to further enhance them.  The two sides agreed to develop a number of programs and initiatives between the two countries.

The challenges facing the region, especially the hostile practices of the Iranian regime and its role in destabilizing and undermining the security of the region also figured high in their talks. They reviewed the joint efforts to maintain the region’s security and stability in general, including its waterways, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Muhammad and Mattis also discussed the joint efforts in combating extremist and terrorist outfits such as Daesh (the so-called IS) and Al-Qaeda. The meeting saw convergence of viewpoints of both sides on key issues, as well as their strong desire to vigorously pursue joint efforts to maintain security and stability in the region.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Musaad Al-Aiban, Minister of State for Arab Gulf Affairs Thamer Al-Sobhan, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen.  Abdulrahman Al-Bunyan, US Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell, Senior Advisor Sally Donnelly, Senior Military Assistant Rear Admiral Craig S. Faller, and several other senior civilian and military officials from both sides.

Later, speaking to reporters, Mattis hinted that President Donald Trump could visit the Kingdom. “What we can do here today could actually open the door possibly to bringing our president to Saudi Arabia,” Mattis said.

At the start of talks with Deputy Crown Prince, Mattis said: “It is in our interest to see a strong Saudi Arabia.”

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