November 11, 2019 / 9:31 PM / a month ago

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

FILE PHOTO: Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al-Said sits during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) at the Beit Al Baraka Royal Palace in Muscat, Oman January 14, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s vice minister of defence 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 defence 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 recognised 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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