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Statement | May 23, 2021

Readout from Gen. McKenzie’s visit with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister and Royal Saudi Chief of General Staff

USCENTCOM

U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Frank McKenzie met with Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman Al-Saud and Royal Saudi Chief of General Staff Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili yesterday in Riyadh.

The leaders reaffirmed the strong defense relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States.

McKenzie acknowledged that Saudi Arabia faces “genuine security threats” from Yemen and others in the region, and reiterated the U.S. Government’s commitment to helping the kingdom improve its border defense capabilities, he said.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner in the Middle East, and an important pillar of the regional security architecture,” McKenzie said, “and I am extremely proud of the strategic relationship we’ve built over the years.”

During the visit, McKenzie also met with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Martina Strong, U.S. Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Wendul G. Hagler II and other members of the embassy staff. McKenzie further met with the Yemen Affairs Unit Chargé d’Affaires Cathy Westley and other members of her team.