US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of a regional tour aimed at reassuring Washington\’s allies over a nuclear deal with Iran.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of a regional tour aimed at reassuring Washington's allies over a nuclear deal with Iran.
Carter is to hold talks with King Salman in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where the kingdom's rulers base themselves during the hot summer months.
He was then to meet for about one hour with Salman's son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister and second-in-line to the throne.
Carter, who flew in from Jordan, is to return to Amman mid-afternoon.
On Tuesday Carter visited the Zionist entity for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has predicted the Iran nuclear agreement “will lead to a regional nuclear arms race.”
Netanyahu also fears the deal will “help fund Iranian aggression".
In an effort to calm these worries, Carter proposes to intensify military cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia, Washington's traditional allies in the Middle East.
With the Saudis, there will be talk of training special forces, cyber security, anti-missile defense and freedom of navigation in the strategic Red Sea and Gulf waterways, an American defense official said.
Carter has also highlighted the fight against the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) who have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The organization has committed widespread atrocities there and inspired attacks around the world, including in Saudi Arabia.
"We will continue to work with Israel and other partners in this region to counter the danger from Iran, even as we do the same with respect to ISIL," Carter said Tuesday in Jordan.