Biden sends his chief aide to meet the Saudi crown prince

Washington (AP) – President Joe Biden He sends one of his senior advisers to Saudi Arabia to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The de facto leader of the oil-rich kingdom, later this week.

On Thursday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that he will travel to Saudi Arabia on Saturday for talks with Saudi officials, and he will also meet his counterparts from the UAE and India during his visit.

Sullivan said he would “discuss new areas of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf, as well as the United States and the rest of the region.” India and the UAE last year signed a comprehensive economic partnership aimed at improving relations between the two countries.

Sullivan is expected to meet the crown prince, who is often referenced by Mohammed bin Salman, during the visit, according to a person familiar with Sullivan’s travel plans who was not authorized to discuss the item publicly.

Sullivan He spoke on the phone with Mohammed bin Salman last month Amid indications that the Saudis and Houthis allied with Iran in Yemen are making remarkable progress toward finding a permanent end to the nine-year conflict.

He said the Yemen war would be an “important topic of discussion” during his next visit to Saudi Arabia.

Sullivan’s planned visit is the latest sign of warming relations between the kingdom and the Biden administration, which have been strained by Biden’s criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and oil policies.

Last October, after the OPEC+ alliance cut oil production, Biden said there would be consequences for the kingdom, the leading member. The administration saw that cutting oil production – which boosted oil prices – softens the financial blow to another OPEC + member, Russia, due to US and Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war in Ukraine.

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Sullivan outlined his plans during wide-ranging remarks on the Biden administration’s policy in the Middle East at an event hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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