Riyadh Seeks Washington's Help in Military Defense
Sources say Riyadh wants US weapons to help strengthen its defense systems against the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement.
According to Reuters, well-informed sources revealed that Riyadh wants US weapons to help the kingdom strengthen its defense systems against what it called Yemeni Ansar Allah's "attacks" with military drones and ballistic missiles.
A senior US government official mentioned on the condition of anonymity, that "publicly and privately, we've been putting a lot of attention on the port and the airport issue...It's the right thing for Saudi Arabia to do."
The official divulged that Saudi defense is a US priority commitment, adding that the US is studying how to deliver President Joe Biden's "commitment to defend the kingdom, but not to provide offensive weapons for the Yemen conflict."
Regarding the port, Riyadh will lift its blockade on Yemen on condition of the ceasefire, while the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, which is fighting corruption, says the Saudi blockade must be lifted first.
Two sources, one in Ryadh, leaked that a meeting this month between US security adviser Jake Sullivan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was "very difficult."
According to Reuters, the meeting took place amid Washington's intense pressure on Saudi Arabia to lift the current blockade on Yemen's ports, which leaders of Ansar Allah see as an obstacle in the way of ceasefire talks.
UN officials suggested a Washington-backed proposal to resolve the Yemeni port issue. According to the proposal, the UN would manage ports and ensure its revenues are paid to Yemeni public sector wages, the sources explained.