CIA awards Saudi crown prince prestigious medal
CIA director Mike Pompeo handed Mohammed bin Nayef – Saudi Arabia's deputy premier and minister of interior – the award in a reception in Riyadh late on Friday.
The CIA said the award represents international recognition of the Gulf monarch's anti-terrorism efforts and distinguished intelligence work for security and peace.
Mohammed bin Nayef said his country is keen on fighting terrorism in a statement issued on the occasion.
"The kingdom has been keen to combat terrorism based on its conviction that terrorism has no identity and no religion, and from its belief that the terrorists are committing these acts stemming from their deviant ideologies and evil thought," he said.
"Combating terrorism requires a joint international effort at all levels; financially, intellectually, militarily and through the media," he stressed.
Commenting on Saudi-US ties following the election of US President Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Nayef said they were "strong and historic".
Saudi Arabia, cradle of the austere Sunni doctrine of Wahhabism, has been a strategic ally of Washington.
The Gulf monarch, which has been accused of inspiring extremist ideologies in the Muslim world, dodged a recently-halted US travel ban introduced by Trump against seven Muslim-majority countries over alleged links to terrorism.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Arab nations are also home to scores of extremists who have joined al-Qaeda and its rival Islamic State group.
Out of the 19 hijackers of planes used in the September 11, 2011 attacks in US, 15 came from Saudi Arabia, also the birthplace of al-Qaeda founder and attack mastermind Osama bin Laden.