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Saudi Arabia denies US limiting arms supplies

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and several (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 18, 2016. (Photos by Reuters)

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has denied reports over the US limiting its military support to the kingdom over its war on Yemen, adding that Riyadh is actually waiting for smart bombs.

During a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday, Jubeir stressed that the kingdom had not officially been informed of such a decision, which he referred to as a contradiction to reality.

Last week, reports surfaced over Washington deciding to curb support for Saudi Arabia's military, including the suspension of the supply of some precision-guided munitions, over concerns of the widespread civilian casualties.

At least 11,400 people have died as the result of the Saudi campaign in the kingdom’s impoverished neighbor since March 2015, according to the latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2016.

"This is a media news. The kingdom has received nothing official from the American government in this regard. This news that has been leaked contradicts reality. The reality is that converting regular bombs to smart bombs would be welcome because smart bombs are more accurate," said Jubeir.

Kerry also downplayed the reports of delays in US arms supplies to the kingdom, stressing that he was working hard to push arms sales “forward.”

Multiple international rights groups have urged the US to halt weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, regarding it to be a complicit in the large number of civilian deaths in Yemen if it fails to do so.

Kerry added that he had agreed to talks with the Saudis and other Persian Gulf states to push for a "cessation of hostilities, which we all will work on in the next several days with hopes that within two weeks it might be possible to achieve it.”

(L-R) Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah talk before a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2016.

"Our immediate priority is to end the bloodshed and that's why reestablishing the ceasefire is so critical," he added.

The Saudi offensive was launched to undermine the Ansarullah movement and reinstate Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

“We think we've found the path to move forward and invite the parties, President Hadi, the Houthis and the supporters of both sides to take advantage of this moment to try to come to the table and to try to frame an end," Kerry added.

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