US Secy Blinken meets Crown Prince Bin Salman

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday began his Saudi Arabia visit with a meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two held talks at the start of a diplomatic mission focused on stabilising Saudi Arabia-US ties after years of deepening disagreements on issues like human rights in Iran, regional security and oil prices as well, reported Al Jazeera. Bliken and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman committed 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,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. The Secretary expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s leadership in hosting the D-ISIS Ministerial and stressed our joint continued efforts to fight terrorism. Blinken also emphasised that US-Saudi Arabia bilateral ties were strengthened by progress on human rights. The two also discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy technology fields. Blinken also expressed gratitude to the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia’s support in evacuating hundreds of US citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to stop the fighting there, the statement added. The US Secretary of State is scheduled to meet with other top Saudi officials during his three-day tour, which is Washington’s second recent high-level visit to the country. On May 7, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan travelled to Saudi Arabia, as per Al Jazeera. Blinken’s visit comes just days after Saudi Arabia committed to further reduce oil production, a move that is likely to aggravate tensions between Washington and Riyadh. Riyadh has argued regularly with US President Joe Biden over its crude oil supply to global markets, desire to join OPEC+ with Russia, and achieving a detente with Iran mediated by China.