Saudi Crown Prince phones Pentagon chief on Mosul victory, defense cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-16 20:44:43|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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RIYADH, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday discussed over the phone with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis increasing counterterrorism and defense cooperation.

The crown prince, who is also Saudi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, congratulated Mattis on the victory over the terror group Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, Iraq, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

He also praised the U.S. role in leading the international coalition to fight IS and eliminate it, while stressing that the war on terrorism and all those who support and finance it should continue to be firm, the report said.

The two sides also discussed ways of developing coordination mechanisms to combat terrorism and extremism, and increase the Saudi-U.S. military and defense cooperation, it added.

Iraq declared victory early the week in liberating Mosul from the IS rule after a nine-month war, backed by the U.S.-led international coalition.

Saudi, a major U.S. ally in the Gulf and an arch rival to Iran, has been one of the major buyer of U.S. weapons in the world. During U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Riyadh in May, the two sides signed an arms sales deal that is worth 350 billion U.S. dollars over 10 years and 110 billion dollars that took effect immediately.