U.S. official: Must stand with Saudi Arabia as key security partner

PARIS (Reuters) - The United States must stand with Saudi Arabia as a key security partner, a U.S. State Department official said on Thursday when asked about an English court ruling that Britain broke the law by allowing certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper told reporters on a teleconference that both the United States and Britain had long-standing bilateral ties to Saudi Arabia, despite what he called “difficult situations.”

“They are carrying a significant amount of equity to protect U.S. interests and U.S. persons, and it is incumbent upon us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners, especially when they are on the front line for our interests,” he said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Hugh Lawson