November 11, 2019 / 9:29 PM / a month ago

Saudi vice defense minister meets Omani ruler in Muscat -state news

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman gestures during a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., August 29, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s vice minister of defense visited Oman on Monday and met with ruler Sultan Qaboos, Omani state news agency ONA reported, following a deal to end a power struggle in the south of Yemen.

The Saudi defense ministry said Prince Khalid bin Salman, a son of the king, would meet with several Omani officials to discuss bilateral ties as well as regional security and stability.

Neither statement mentioned Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is backing the internationally recognized government against the Iran-aligned Houthis.

Oman has largely remained neutral but has hosted talks to try to resolve the conflict and previously used its good relations with the Houthis and Iran to mediate with Riyadh and Washington.

The deal signed last week between the Saudi-backed government and southern separatists was hailed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a step toward a wider political solution to end the multifaceted conflict.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Sandra Maler

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