Top US, Saudi diplomats discuss Sudan war, Jeddah talks on Ukraine, Mideast security

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the success of the Jeddah talks on the war in Ukraine, and ways to jointly work toward a stable Middle East, during a phone call.

The Saudi Press Agency reported Friday that the two diplomats cited the importance of halting an escalation between Sudan’s warring parties and “intensifying” a US-Saudi coordination attempt to promote security and stability in the Middle East.

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The US Department of State said Thursday that Blinken praised Saudi Arabia’s role in convening discussions in Jeddah involving over 40 nations on the Ukraine conflict.

The talks in Jeddah involved representatives from countries including the United States, China, Germany, and India – with the notable absence of Russia – marking a fresh political endeavor by the Kingdom to find a solution to the crisis.

Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff to the President of Ukraine and leader of his country’s delegation in the August meetings, affirmed that the participants engaged in highly productive deliberations regarding the fundamental principles on which a just and lasting peace should be built.

The platform allowed representatives from each nation to express their perspectives and opinions. Prior to the Jeddah talks, similar meetings were held in Copenhagen in June, aiming to chart a course to put an end to the conflict that erupted in February 2022.

Concerning Sudan, both Saudi Arabia and the US have tried to hold talks between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces to implement a ceasefire. However, ceasefires have failed to hold except for a few days.

Despite warning to suspend talks between the two warring parties owing to repeated violations, both countries expressed their readiness to resume talks once the parties undertake the initial steps to build and regain trust.

On Yemen, the two sides “committed to redouble efforts to secure a lasting peace in Yemen through a UN-mediated Yemeni-Yemeni peace process,” the US statement said.

Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country, is in the grips of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises after eight years of war, according to the United Nations.

The conflict broke out in 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting the Arab Coalition to intervene the following year and prop up the internationally recognized government.

Fighting has remained largely on hold since a six-month truce expired in October 2022.

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