WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia and the US agreed that Iran’s destabilising behaviour must be countered and deterred, the kingdom’s foreign minister said.
Speaking after participating in the first US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue, Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The Iranian regime continues to provide financial and material support to terrorist groups including in Yemen where the Houthis have launched 300 Iranian-made ballistic missiles and drones towards the kingdom.”
Iran’s development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programme represents a danger to the region and the world, the foreign minister added.
The dialogue, which aims to strengthen the historic relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, took place for the first time yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prince Faisal took part in the talks.
At a joint Press conference, Pompeo also agreed that Iran’s threatening behaviour needed to be reined in and said it “threatens Saudi Arabia’s security and disrupts global commerce.”
The secretary of state said this was clear from Iran’s attack on Aramco facilities last year and frequent Houthi bombardment of Saudi territory using rockets, drones and “lethal technologies supplied by the Iranian regime.”
“This strategic dialogue between the US and Saudi Arabia that Prince Faisal and I launched today marks a new era in our relationship,” the US diplomat said. “Our conversations reflected a mutual willingness to grow not only our security and economic ties, but our whole partnership.”
The dialogue sessions will focus on the two countries’ commitments to enhancing regional security and prosperity, economic growth, and strengthening the decades-long historical strategic relations between Saudi Arabia and the US.
The State Department said: “The dialogue will focus on our shared commitments to the furthering of regional security and prosperity, economic development, and the people-to-people exchanges that have underpinned our bilateral relationship since the seminal meeting between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz aboard the USS Quincy 75 years ago.”