x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

US House speaker meets Saudi king in regional security talks

Paul Ryan is scheduled to visit UAE on Thursday

Saudi King Salman shakes hands with the US House speaker Paul Ryan, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Saudi Press Agency via AP
Saudi King Salman shakes hands with the US House speaker Paul Ryan, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Saudi Press Agency via AP

US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday to kick off a trip to the Middle East.

Mr Ryan met with Saudi King Salman in the first regional stop for talks centred on security.

They discussed "bilateral co-operation" between the longtime allies, the official Saudi Press Agency reported without elaborating.

A statement by his office said his meetings in the Middle East "will focus on regional stability, the campaign against ISIS and terrorism, and Iranian aggression."

Mr Ryan is scheduled to visit the UAE on Thursday.

________________

Read more

Saudi Arabia and UAE discuss Yemen with US and UK

Pence promises US embassy will move to Jerusalem by end of 2019

________________

Saudi Arabia is a member of the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The kingdom and the US also cooperate on intelligence sharing related to extremist groups like Al Qaeda.

Riyadh's relations with Washington were strained under president Barack Obama, whose administration helped negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.

Saudi-US ties have since improved under president Donald Trump, whose first overseas visit as president was to the kingdom in May. The two sides oversaw the signing of more than US$100 billion (Dh367bn) in military sales to Saudi Arabia during that visit.

State-run Saudi media showed Mr Ryan meeting with King Salman after he was received at the airport in Riyadh by the head of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, a consultative body that is appointed by the monarch.

Mr Ryan's visit follows US vice president Mike Pence's delayed trip to the region.