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Blinken meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Desk Report || risingbd.com

Published: 18:51, 7 June 2023  
Blinken meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, a State Department spokesperson told CNN, the latest step toward rapprochement between the US government and the de facto leader of a key US ally.

The two men “affirmed their shared commitment to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond” during the meeting, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement Tuesday.

Miller said that commitment includes “a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen,” adding that Blinken “emphasized that our bilateral relationship is strengthened by progress on human rights.”

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years following the torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for which a US intelligence report held the Crown Prince responsible. But in the wake of fluctuating oil prices over the past year – Saudi Arabia this week said it will slash oil output starting in July as part of an effort by producers to shore up crude prices – the Biden administration has sought to reengage with the kingdom.

The meeting lasted an hour and 40 minutes, a US official told the traveling press, during which they also touched on the potential for normalization of relations with Israel and agreed to continued dialogue on the issue.

A State Department’s travel summary said Blinken would “meet with Saudi officials to discuss US-Saudi strategic cooperation on regional and global issues and a range of bilateral issues including economic and security cooperation,” and participate in meetings of the US-Gulf Cooperation Council and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon, and will travel to Riyadh on Wednesday for further meetings.