United States and Saudi Arabia Reaffirm Defense Relationship
A reaffirmation of the United States-Saudi Arabian defense relationship was the core of a telephone conversation on Friday between President Trump and Saudi King Salman. The statement came in part as a stop-gap aimed at qualifying reasons for the American announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing two Patriot Missile batteries previously deployed inside the kingdom at the height of tension with Iran. This, despite the omission of the Patriots in the official statement. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Friday that the removal of the missiles was part of “normal rotation” and specifically not part of any attempt to influence the Saudis on oil production. Riyadh issued a statement acknowledging the American commitment to defend its allies in the region.