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Prince Muhammad, Mattis discuss cooperation in combating terror

Saudi Gazette report

WASHINGTON — Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, met with US Defense Secretary James Mattis and reviewed bilateral relations, existing strategic cooperation between the two countries, and means of developing them.

The two also discussed Saudi-US defense cooperation in combating the Daesh (so-called IS) group and other terror groups, the Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.

Prince Muhammad and Mattis also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the world and the efforts being exerted towards them, especially with regard to combating terror and several matters of mutual concern, including the Iranian interference in the region and other challenges.

Prince Muhammad and Mattis also discussed the challenge of “confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” the Pentagon spokesman Joseph Davis’ statement said, while discussing the security situation in the Mideast.

Prince Muhammad and Mattis stressed the importance of Saudi-American defense relations. The two leaders said they look forward to deepening the defense strategy between the US and Saudi Arabia and continuing to work together.

The two sides expressed satisfaction on full convergence of views between the Saudi and American side on issues and subjects discussed and the means to deal with them. They also agreed to carry out a number of initiatives to be worked on during the coming few days.

The meeting was held in the presence of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, the National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, the president’s senior counselor for economic initiatives Dina Powel, the White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and senior defense and Foreign Ministry officials.

The meeting was attended from the Saudi side by Dr. Musaed Al-Aiban, minister of state and Cabinet; Adel Al-Jubeir, minister of foreign affairs; Intelligence Chief Khaled Al-Humaidan; Assistant Defense Minister Gen. Mohammed Al-Ayesh; advisors at the Royal Court Saud Al-Qahtani and Fahd Tunisi; Minister of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs at the Foreign Ministry Thamer Al-Sabhan and adviser to the Saudi Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Ahmed Asiri.