Saudi, US leaders discuss defense issues

 WASHINGTON, May 14, 2015 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Wednesday met with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, who is also his country’s defense minister, to discuss the U.S.-Saudi bilateral defense relationship one day ahead of Prince Mohammed’s participation at the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit at Camp David.

The meeting emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Saudi strategic partnership and reiterated both countries’ shared commitment to ensuring a stable and secure Middle East, according to a Department of Defense news release.

Carter emphasized the importance of working together through bilateral security cooperation to confront the most pressing security challenges in the region, the statement said.

This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders and featured a discussion of regional issues, including the Gulf Cooperation Council-led air campaign in Yemen, the coalition working to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and ongoing regional negotiations, according to the statement, adding that the secretary and the deputy crown prince committed to continuing close consultation on Middle East security issues.

Prince Mohammed and the Saudi crown prince Wednesday morning met at the White House with President Obama. It was "an opportunity to discuss some of the bilateral issues, including the crisis in Yemen and how we can build on the ceasefire that’s been established to restore a process for an inclusive, legitimate government inside of Yemen," said Obama, in remarks following the meeting.

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