US Secretary Blinken heads to Saudi Arabia to discuss ‘strategic cooperation’ - GulfToday

US Secretary Blinken heads to Saudi Arabia to discuss ‘strategic cooperation’


Antony Blinken

Gulf Today Report

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday on a mission to steady Washington's relationship with Riyadh after years of deepening disagreements on issues ranging from Iran and regional security to oil prices.

Blinken is expected to meet with top Saudi officials and possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MbS, during his time in Riyadh, the capital, and the coastal city of Jeddah, in what will be Washington's second recent high-level visit. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan travelled to Saudi Arabia on May 7.


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Blinken called on Monday for the normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel on the eve of his visit to the Arab power.

"The United States has a real national security interest in promoting normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia," Blinken said in a speech to the powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

"We believe we can and indeed we must play an integral role in advancing it," Blinken said.

The top US diplomat's June 6-8 visit to the world's largest oil exporter comes days after Riyadh pledged to further cut oil production.

The aims of the trip include regaining sway with Riyadh over oil prices, fending off Chinese and Russian influence in the region, and nurturing hopes for an eventual Saudi-Israeli normalisation.




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