Saudi deputy defense chief pays surprise visit to Oman

MUSCAT

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister on Monday met with Omani Defense Minister Bader bin Saud al-Busaidi during his unannounced visit to Muscat.

“Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defense, arrived at Omani capital Muscat,” Oman’s Defense Ministry said in a Twitter post.

“The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense this afternoon in a formal talks between both ministers,” it added.

Oman is considered to be one of the prominent mediators on the Yemeni issue.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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