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Pentagon’s high coverage official meets Saudi Arabia’s deputy protection minister in Riyadh

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Jan 8, 2021

The Pentagon’s appearing coverage chief, Anthony Tata, met with the Saudi Arabian deputy protection minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, in Riyadh on Thursday. The two mentioned a “shared vision of stability for the region,” stated Prince Khalid, who’s the youthful brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Details of the dialog weren’t instantly clear. A spokesperson for Tata’s workplace was unable to supply remark by publication time.

The go to got here because the outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump pushes last-minute weapons gross sales to Riyadh earlier than Joe Biden takes workplace Jan. 20. Biden has promised a troublesome stance on Saudi Arabia, threatening to halt US arms gross sales to the dominion and finish US help for its effort in Yemen’s civil battle.

Tata, broadly seen as a Trump loyalist, was nominated to be the Pentagon’s coverage chief final 12 months however was by no means confirmed by the Senate. He rose to carry out that position anyway amid a White House shake-up of Pentagon management that noticed political allies of the president put in in senior positions in November.

Tata’s go to to Riyadh got here because the United States dispatched yet one more pair of nuclear-capable B-52 Stratofortress bombers over the Middle East, the fourth such mission in simply two months. The plane departed Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota for Jordan on Wednesday earlier than linking up with F-15s of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

The deployment was the most recent signal that Washington is following by on its warnings to Tehran to not act on guarantees of revenge across the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad final 12 months. The current overflights coincided with the redeployment of the supercarrier USS Nimitz to the area and the arrival of a guided-missile submarine, the USS Georgia, to the Persian Gulf.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have each contributed to the present of drive, which follows requires revenge by the Islamic Republic’s supreme chief, Ali Khamenei, over the assassination of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist in November. Officials in Tehran have accused Israel of being behind the roadside ambush.

The Trump administration has rallied Middle Eastern leaders to determine ties with Israel as Washington bears down on the Iranian economic system and Tehran’s proxies overseas in hope of rolling again the Islamic Republic’s affect.

Tata visited the Maldives earlier this week to construct on a joint protection cooperation settlement signed in September.

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