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U.S-Saudi relationship 'one of the most enduring': Esper

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U.S-Saudi relationship 'one of the most enduring': Esper

U.S-Saudi relationship 'one of the most enduring': Esper

U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper said on Thursday that the U.S. intended to 'maintain and grow' strong ties with Saudi Arabia as he met with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Defense at the White House on Thursday.

The meeting comes amid negative congressional sentiment toward Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, at a Saudi consulate in Turkey last year.

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EXISTING GRAPHICS MAY BE OVERWRITTEN BY CLIENT'S OWN GRAPHICS BUT NO FURTHER EDITS ARE PERMITTED, INCLUDING FOR LENGTH** Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Defense met on Thursday with the U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper at the Pentagon.

Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was greeted with a military honor guard.

In opening comments, Esper and Prince Khalid said they intended to work toward strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The meeting comes just after Prince Khalid met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday and the two discussed the situation in Yemen, which remains tense.

Lawmakers said their efforts to stop military sales and impose sanctions to punish Saudi human rights abuses would continue after their August break.

U.S. President Donald Trump - and many supporters in Congress - object to punitive measures against Saudi Arabia, which they consider a valuable partner and important counterweight to Iran's influence in the region.

Trump also considers foreign weapons sales an important generator of American jobs.




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