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Carter reaffirms bilateral relationship with Jordanian leaders, meets with top Saudi officials

By Central Command Public Affairs

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July 23, 2015 — WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 – Defense Secretary Ash Carter met in Jordan on Wednesday with Gen. Mashal al-Zaben, King Abdullah II’s advisor for military affairs and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian armed forces, and Lt. Gen. Prince Faisal bin Hussein, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

“Secretary Carter reaffirmed the closeness of the U.S.-Jordan strategic relationship, and the leaders discussed mutual concerns in the region, including the ongoing crisis in Syria,” Cook said.

Carter also expressed his deep appreciation for the Jordanian armed forces' leadership in the region and commended them for playing a leading role in the global coalition effort to deliver a lasting defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he added.

In addition, Carter met in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince ‎and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, Cook said.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Cook said the leaders affirmed the longtime security partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia, discussing a range of issues pertaining to both nations' mutual security interests, including checking Iranian destabilizing activities in the region and countering violent extremism from groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Building on commitments made at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit hosted by President Barack Obama at Camp David in May, Carter spoke to a number of areas where the United States and Saudi Arabia can deepen their security cooperation for the benefit of both countries, Cook said. These include enhancing training for special operations and counterterrorism forces, integrating air and missile defense systems, bolstering cyber defenses and strengthening maritime security, he added.

(DoD News, Defense Media Activity contributed to this report)