The meeting in Riyadh, where Esper arrived late on Monday after an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, also took in defence issues and the current situation in the region.
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Baghdad, as chaos swirled along the Turkey-Syria border because the Iraq military said on Tuesday that US forces crossing into Iraq as part of a pull-out from Syria do not have permission to stay and can only be there in transit.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump's rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. "It's time to bring our soldiers back home," he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper met senior Mongolian leaders on Thursday in a rare visit to the strategically important nation as the Pentagon seeks to implement its strategy
Esper's comments come at a time when some US officials have blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday Washington had evidence the disease emerged from a Chinese lab, which Beijing strongly denies.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Thursday he does not regret postponing a US-South Korean military exercise, even though the gesture was rejected by North Korea
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper says South Korea is wealthy enough to pay a bigger share of the cost of having US troops on its soil. He was asked at a joint news conference on Friday
The split between the president and his Pentagon chief came amid heightened tensions with Tehran following a US drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Trump had twice warned that he would hit Iranian cultural sites if Tehran retaliates against the US.
Many experts say the effort is overdue, given military advances in China during the past two decades as America focused on counter-terrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere.
Derek Chauvin, who was dismissed from the police department with three fellow officers the day after the fatal encounter, was arrested on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Monday's death of 46-year-old George Floyd.