Security and Defense
President Biden strongly affirmed the United States’ continued commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial defense, and facilitating the Kingdom’s ability to obtain necessary capabilities to defend its people and territory against external threats.The two sides underscored the need to further deter Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of other countries, its support for terrorism through its armed proxies, and its efforts to destabilize the security and stability of the region. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States stressed the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Both sides stressed the importance of preserving the free flow of commerce through strategic international waterways like the Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz. They welcomed the newly-established Combined Task Force 153 with a focus on the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandab passageway and further deterring illicit smuggling into Yemen. They also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s assumption of command of Combined Task Force 150, which reinforces shared maritime security objectives in the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea.
To improve and streamline the exchange of information in the maritime domain, cooperation between the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and Combined Task Force 153 will be enhanced in the regionally-networked coordination center led out of the U.S. Fifth Fleet Headquarters in Bahrain. The United States also emphasized the growing cooperation between the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and U.S. Fifth Fleet’s Task Force 59, which leads an expanding fleet of cutting edge, integrated unmanned surface vessels using artificial intelligence to improve maritime security and domain awareness in support of regional security.