Saudi Crown Prince, top US diplomat vow to work together for regional stability
Blinken thanked Saudi Arabia for its support evacuating hundreds of US citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to stop the fighting there.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to work together to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond, the State Department said late Tuesday.
The two officials met in Jeddah shortly after Blinken touched down in the Kingdom for a multi-day visit.
According to State Department Spokesman Matt Miller, the US secretary expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s leadership in hosting the upcoming Defeat ISIS meeting and stressed the importance of continued efforts to fight terrorism.
“The two affirmed their shared commitment to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond, including through a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen,” Miller said.
Blinken and the Crown Prince also discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy and technology fields.
He also thanked Prince Mohammed for Saudi Arabia’s support evacuating hundreds of US citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to stop the fighting there.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the two discussed bilateral ties, ways to strengthen them, and regional and global developments.
Earlier Tuesday, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for stronger ties between Washington and Riyadh. “For 80 years, the Kingdom of #SaudiArabia has been an important partner in advancing shared security and economic interests. Greater engagement between the Biden Administration and the Kingdom is overdue,” Senator Jim Risch tweeted.
Blinken is set to meet with other Saudi officials on Wednesday before taking part in a US-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial. He and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, will also co-host a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
Prior to his trip, National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told Al Arabiya English: “We’re focused on the future here. And I’m sure Secretary Blinken, when he gets to Riyadh, that will be the bulk of his messages, moving this relationship forward.”
A State Department official previously said that the US would not leave a vaccum for others to fill, in an apparent reference to China’s growing influence in the region. “And that’s one more benefit of an engagement like [Blinken’s trip to Saudi Arabia] is that it helps shore up the bilateral relationships that ultimately are the underpinning of US strength in the region,” Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim said in a phone call with reporters ahead of the visit.
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