King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, has approved hosting of the U.S. armed forces in the kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

An official in the Saudi Ministry of Defence clarified that the decision was made based on the principles of strengthening regional security and stability, and joint cooperation between the two countries.

He further highlighted that the hosting would increase joint cooperation in defending regional security and preserve peace.

The tension in the Gulf region is escalating along with U.S.-Iran conflicts about Iran’s nuclear activities.

The Trump administration reinforced its controversial military relationship with Saudi Arabia when it proposed sending hundreds of troops to the country amid increasing tensions with Iran.

U.S. defence officials had earlier disclosed that 500 troops were to be deployed to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert area, east of Riyadh.

The U.S. wanted to base its troops in the area because security assessments had shown Iranian missiles would have a difficult time targeting the remote area, NAN reported.