Thursday, March 4, 2021

US reaffirms Saudi ‘defence partnership’ amid Houthi assaults

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Pentagon chief condemns Houthi assaults and expresses dedication to safety ties in name with Saudi crown prince.

The United States has reaffirmed its “strategic defence partnership” with Riyadh within the face of renewed assaults by Yemen’s Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia throughout a name between US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

MBS, who can be Saudi defence minister, reviewed bilateral relations with Austin, particularly in defence cooperation, Saudi state information company SPA stated.

A Pentagon assertion stated the US and Saudi counterparts spoke “to reaffirm the strategic defence partnership between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

“The secretary condemned the recent Houthi cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and expressed his commitment to assisting Saudi Arabia in the defence of its borders,” added the assertion.

Houthi rebels have stepped up cross-border drone and missile assaults in latest weeks as they resumed an offensive to grab the Saudi-backed authorities’s final main stronghold in northern Yemen’s Marib province.

“We discussed the continued commitment to the 70-year US-Saudi security partnership, and I’m looking forward to working together to achieve regional security and stability,” stated Austin in an announcement.

Friday’s telephone name got here days after the White House stated it could cope with the king, not the crown prince.

US-Saudi relations

US President Joe Biden stated this week he plans to recalibrate US relations with Saudi Arabia and can conduct diplomacy by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz somewhat than his highly effective son, the crown prince, broadly known as MBS.

Biden is returning to “counterpart to counterpart” engagement, the White House stated.

Although Biden has reached out to US allies in each nook of the world, he has but to talk with Saudi leaders.

Two weeks after he was sworn in as president, Biden introduced an finish to US backing for Saudi offensive operations in Yemen’s longstanding battle, which he stated had created a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe”.

“Secretary Austin reiterated recent changes in US policy toward the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, discussed the importance of ending the war,” the Pentagon assertion stated.

A Saudi-led navy coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to combat the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who took over massive swathes of the impoverished nation in late 2014.

Washington has additionally dropped the Houthi rebels from the US blacklist of “terrorist” organisations.

Their blacklisting within the dying days of the Trump administration was sharply criticised by reduction organisations, who stated it could severely hinder help shipments to the big swathes of Yemen managed by the Houthis.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken already spoke earlier this month along with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and raised the problem of human rights within the kingdom.

The grinding battle has killed tens of 1000’s of individuals and displaced thousands and thousands extra, triggering what the United Nations describes because the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

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