RIYADH (REUTERS) - Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday (Dec 18) denied media reports that the United States had decided to limit military support, including a planned arms sale, to the kingdom.
US officials have said Washington decided to curb backing for Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen, including halting the supply of some precision-guided munitions, because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties.
Yemen's 20-month-old war has killed more than 10,000 people and triggered humanitarian crises, including chronic food shortages, in the poorest country in the Arabian peninsula.
Jubeir, speaking in Arabic, told a joint news conference with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry: "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."
"The kingdom has received nothing official from the American government in this regard," he said in answer to a question on reported delays of US weapons supplies.
Kerry appeared to play down the reports of delays to weapons supplies, suggesting procurement was often a slow process, and adding he had worked hard to move sales "forward".
A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen's civil war in March 2015, several months after the Iran-Allied Houthi movement ousted the Saudi-backed government, and has launched thousands of air strikes on the Houthis and their local allies.
The kingdom has been subject to frequent cross-border raids and missile attacks by the Houthi movement.