İrem UZUN -TDO- U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud hold a phone call to discuss latest developments in fighting COVID-19 and global economy. During a phone call, Trump and King Salman reaffirmed the strong United States-Saudi defense partnership and agreed on the importance of stability in global energy markets, White House said.
The conversation on Friday between the two leaders came amid tension did rise over the kingdom's oil output and reports emerged that the United States planned to withdraw two Patriot anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia, which it deployed when tensions with Iran flared up last year. Last month, Trump tried to persuade Saudi Arabia to cut its oil output after coronavirus pandemic put heavy pressure on U.S. oil producers. Neither the official statement nor the White House officials mentioned the withdrawal of patriot missiles. However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that the missiles would be withdrawn, but he emphasized that it did not signal a decrease in U.S. support for Saudi and did not mean Washington thought Iran was no longer a threat. Pompeo called the withdrawal as a “normal rotation of forces”.
Saudi Arabia issued an official statement regarding the phone call on Friday, saying that Trump confirmed the U.S. is committed to protecting its interests and the security of its allies in the region. The statement also said that U.S. is ready to give support for efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.