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Top Biden advisor talks Yemen, regional stability in Saudi Arabia

A top advisor to President Joe Biden and the leader of Saudi Arabia on Thursday discussed Yemen and a more “stable” Middle East, where the United States is pushing for a historic Saudi-Israeli thaw, the White House said.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan travelled to Jeddah to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and senior Saudi officials, according to a White House statement.

They discussed “bilateral and regional matters, including initiatives to advance a common vision for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East region interconnected with the world,” the statement said.

Sullivan “also reviewed significant progress to build on the benefits of the truce in Yemen that have endured over the past 16 months and welcomed ongoing UN-led efforts to bring the war to a close.”

In June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also visited Saudi Arabia. He used the trip to promote normalisation of relations between longtime foes Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Despite deep US-Saudi ties, relations with Riyadh have been testy in recent years, over human rights issues such as the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a group tied to the Saudi royal palace, as well as Saudi efforts to raise oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, the Saudis recently gave China an opening into Middle East political dynamics when Beijing brokered a tentative rapprochement between Riyadh and arch-rival Tehran.

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