Corker Hears Saudi Concerns on Syria and Iran


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - On a trip to assess U.S. diplomatic and security ties with allies in the Middle East, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, met with Saudi Arabian officials on Monday and Tuesday in Riyadh where he heard concerns about the worsening conflict in Syria and Iran’s role in the region, among other issues.

“While U.S. decision-making in the Middle East in recent years has no doubt caught many of our allies off guard and caused them to question our reliability, our partnership with Saudi Arabia remains strong and is vital to promoting our national security interests. We must reassure our allies in the region of U.S. commitments for stability and security in the Middle East,” said Corker.  “I will continue working to play a constructive role in Congress to keep the pressure on Iran to alter its actions in the region and advocate for a Syria policy that protects U.S. interests.”

On Tuesday, Corker participated in a briefing at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh prior to a series of meetings with top Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Deputy Minister of Defense Salman bin Sultan, Minister of the National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, Minister of Interior Prince Mohamed bin Naif, Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, and Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Prince Turki al-Faisal.

Corker later visited Eskan Village where he met with U.S. military commanders and civilian advisers of the training missions for the Saudi Ministry of Defense, National Guard, Ministry of Interior, and Facilities Security Force.

He also met Corporal Franklin Walker of Memphis, a U.S. Marine serving at the U.S. embassy.

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Monday, December 2 - Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., meets with Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s chief of intelligence, in Riyadh.  The more than three hour meeting, which was the first in months between Bandar and a high ranking U.S. official, focused on concerns over Syria and Iran.

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Tuesday, December 3 - Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., meets Corporal Franklin Walker of Memphis, a U.S. Marine serving at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh.

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