Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Royal Court, in Riyadh in January 2019 [File: Andrew Cabellero-Reynolds/AP Photo]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blocked the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on a US list of countries that recruit child soldiers, dismissing his experts’ findings that a Saudi-UAE coalition has been using underage fighters in Yemen‘s civil war, Reuters News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing four people familiar with the matter.

The decision, which came after a fierce internal debate, could prompt new accusations by human rights advocates and some politicians that US President Donald Trump‘s administration is prioritising security and economic interests in relations with oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a major US ally

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