US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met his Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday and discussed "the continued need to counter the Iranian regime's destabilizing behaviour” among other things. He further took to Twitter and said that the US-Saudi partnership is critical. Pompeo also added that the US and Saudi share a common interest for de-escalation in Yemen.
U.S.-#Saudi partnership is critical as we confront Iran's destabilizing behavior. We also share an interest in de-escalation in Yemen. Glad to meet with Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on these regional security issues. pic.twitter.com/4gDShU8mij— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 12, 2020
Reportedly, this was the second time in three months that Pompeo and the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister have met. A state department spokesperson in a statement said, "Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Al Saud discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern, including the continued need to counter the Iranian regime's destabilizing behaviour."
The two leaders expressed their concern over the recent violence in Yemen, including Houthi cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia. They agreed on the need to swiftly return to de-escalation. Pompeo also stressed on a political solution to the conflict facilitated by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths.
The longstanding tension between Iran and the US surfaced again as Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was slain by the US in an airstrike near Iraq's Baghdad International Airport, ordered by US President Donald Trump. Post this, Iran had threatened "harsh retaliation" and subsequently, many airstrikes were reported near the US Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
Furthermore, a major attack was also launched on the Al-Assad and Ebril airbases in Iraq. The bases were hit by a ballistic missiles that houses the US and coalition forces. This incident was first reported by Iranian state TV, which described it as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani.
Following the developments, Trump said that the US would strike 52 sites in the Islamic Republic if any Americans were harmed. After this, there has been a continuous war of words between the officials of the two countries.