The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia held the U.S.-Saudi Strategic Joint Planning Committee (SJPC) at the Pentagon on May 17-18, 2022. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. Colin Kahl led the U.S. delegation alongside Saudi Vice Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman for the Saudi delegation.
The SJPC is the premier bilateral security forum for senior U.S. and Saudi and defense officials to discuss ongoing security concerns and military cooperation with the aim of advancing the U.S.-Saudi defense relationship.
Dr. Kahl and HRH Prince Salman reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Saudi defense partnership. Dr. Kahl affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a strategic partner of the United States and underscored U.S. commitment to supporting the Kingdom in defending itself against external threats. The two leaders exchanged views on national defense priorities and the U.S. approach to China as its pacing challenge. They conferred on a broad range of security challenges throughout the Middle East region, including the war in Yemen, maritime threats, and violent extremist organizations.
The delegations spoke extensively about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, and Dr. Kahl and HRH Prince Salman agreed to enhance efforts to counter the smuggling of illicit weapons to violent non-state groups in the region.
Dr. Kahl conveyed his full support for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense transformation process, a top priority for Saudi Arabia and for the United States. He thanked HRH Prince Salman for Saudi Arabia’s critical role working with the United States and United Nations to achieve the current truce in Yemen and expressed the U.S. hope that the truce be extended and the war come to an end soon. Dr. Kahl noted the need to work together on advancing regional integrated air and missile defense. Both sides agreed on the importance of continuing to advance the U.S.-Saudi military cooperation through joint training, exercises, and strong desire to expand regional cooperation and security.