By Arab News
Middle East security, countering terrorism and improving trade ties are the focus of talks held by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with American politicians in Washington.
The deputy crown prince visited the Pentagon on Thursday and held a bilateral meeting on security issues of mutual concern with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
Carter hosted an enhanced honor cordon to welcome his guest, on the steps of the Pentagon’s river entrance.
Upon arrival, Secretary Carter welcomed Prince Mohammed back to the Pentagon and gave the following statement:
“This is our 10th in-depth conversation, and I am grateful for his hospitality and the Gulf Cooperation Council in April in Riyadh and I’ve had the honor to host in here back last September and I look forward to another productive meeting to build a close security relationship between our countries”.
Carter added: “We’ll be discussing ways to further cooperate on conventional and asymmetric threats in the region these include delivering Daesh a lasting defeat, addressing the situation in Yemen, and countering Iran’s belying influence. We’ll also discuss joint capabilities including expanded coordination on special operation forces. I want to thank HRH (Mohammed bin) Salman for making this journey, and I look forward to this conversation.”
In his remarks, Prince Mohammed said: “I am today in a country that is an ally to the Kingdom, in a very sensitive time, in a kind of region with many threats surrounding us … either when it comes to the instability of some countries or the interference in the internal affairs of countries, or terrorism.”
He added: “The US and its allies in the region have the responsibility to meet and deal with these challenges that might pose as a threat to the entire world and today we are working hard and seriously to face these challenges.”
According to press reports Thursday, Prince Mohammed discussed the crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, including how to tackle Iran’s expansionism, in closed meetings with a large number of Congress members — both Republicans and Democrats.
President Barack Obama will host Prince Mohammed at the White House today. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that Obama would meet the deputy crown prince.
On Wednesday, Prince Mohammed met with US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, House of Representatives Democratic Party Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and held several meetings with committee heads and members of the Senate and House of Representatives.