Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss Yemen

US Secretary of State and Kingdom's Deputy Defence Minister express strong support for the UN-negotiated agreement

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman is on a visit to the US. AP
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence Prince Khalid bin Salman in Washington on Saturday.

They discussed bilateral relations, as well as developments in Yemen, Iran and Ukraine.

Mr Blinken was accompanied by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

The US Secretary of State and Prince Khalid spoke about their strong support for the UN-negotiated truce and reviewed recent progress in Yemen, a State Department summary of the meeting showed.

This includes the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa and regular fuel imports through Hodeidah.

The officials emphasised the need to urgently improve access to Taez and other cities at the front lines of the conflict.

They also discussed what the State Department called the “enduring US commitment” to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s defences, efforts to counter Iranian threats, and the importance of maintaining strong international support for Ukraine.

They spoke about managing the pressure prevailing in global energy markets, stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and reviewed human rights issues as well as Saudi Arabia’s progress on its Vision 2030 programme.

Prince Khalid on Friday called for international pressure on Yemen's Houthi rebels to abide by the ceasefire during a meeting with the US special envoy for Yemen, Timothy Lenderking.

The ceasefire began on April 2, at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, and has largely held despite reported Houthi breaches.

Prince Khalid said he also assured Mr Lenderking of Saudi Arabia's support for a political solution to Yemen's civil war.

Updated: May 21, 2022, 4:11 PM