US secretary of state meets Saudi crown prince in Riyadh amid Israel-Gaza struggle

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This mix of photographs reveals US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. — AFP/Recordsdata

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been busy on a disaster tour of the Center East for this week, sought help on Sunday from Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, who has heat ties with Israel however has delayed normalisation.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the senior US diplomat had a virtually hour-long early morning assembly on the royal’s property close to Riyadh, in keeping with a US official.

“Very productive,” Blinken stated when requested concerning the assembly after returning to his lodge.

Blinken has been touring the area after Hamas fighters attacked and entered Israel from the blockaded Gaza Strip on October 7 and killed 1,300 folks, largely civilians, AFP reported.

The assault sparked a large retaliatory marketing campaign focusing on Hamas in Gaza that resulted within the killing of greater than 2,300 folks.

For the previous few months, earlier than the violence within the Gaza Strip area began, the Saudi crown prince had spoken of progress in US-led diplomacy to normalise relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Saudi Arabia has put the method on maintain after the violence, and Blinken has stated that disrupting Saudi-Israel normalisation efforts might have partly motivated the Hamas assault.

The dominion is residence to Islam’s two holiest websites, making recognition a historic coup for Israel, which in 2020 normalised relations with three different Arab states, in keeping with AFP.

As a part of a bundle, Saudi Arabia — which like Israel has tense relations with Iran — has been in search of safety ensures from america, its longtime accomplice and shopper of its oil.

Nonetheless, Prince Mohammed is deeply controversial in america, the place intelligence linked him to the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist, which Riyadh has denied, blaming rogue operatives.

President Joe Biden — who as soon as vowed to make the dominion a pariah — drew protests at residence after a go to to Saudi Arabia final 12 months when he shared a pleasant fist-bump with Prince Mohammed.

Blinken will journey later Sunday to Egypt, the sixth Arab nation he’ll go to as he seeks to strain Hamas and forestall the struggle from spreading.

Egypt is a key middleman between Israel and Hamas, and US officers say Cairo labored on an association to let US residents go away the Gaza Strip however that Hamas impeded their motion on Saturday to the only border crossing at Rafah.

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