Blinken Meets With Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince
US State Department spokesperson Antony Blinken met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. In recent months, the US government has been reconciling with the de facto ruler of a significant US ally.
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State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that the two men affirmed their shared commitment to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond , during the meeting.
Miller stated that part of that commitment is “a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen,” Blinken “emphasized that our bilateral relationship is strengthened by progress on human rights.”
Following the murder and torture of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for which a US intelligence report held the Crown Prince accountable, relations between the two nations have deteriorated recently.
However, the Biden administration has sought to reengage with the kingdom in the wake of the fluctuating oil prices over the past year. Saudi Arabia this week announced it would cut oil output beginning in July as part of an effort by producers to shore up crude prices.
Blinken and bin Salman “discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy and technology fields,” Miller said in the statement.
More about the statement by Blinken-
According to the statement, Blinken thanked the Crown Prince “for Saudi Arabia’s support in evacuating hundreds of American citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to end the fighting there.”
An official from the US told members of the traveling media that the meeting lasted an hour and forty minutes. During that time they discussed the possibility of normalizing relations with Israel and decided to continue talking about the matter.
Blinken would attend meetings of the US-Gulf Cooperation Council and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, as well as “meet with Saudi officials to discuss US-Saudi strategic cooperation on regional and global issues as well as bilateral relations, including economic and security cooperation,” according to a State Department travel summary.
Tuesday afternoon saw Blinken’s arrival in Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, he will travel to Riyadh for additional meetings.
Blinken stated that normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be a subject of conversation during his trip while addressing the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Monday.