Blinken arrives in Saudi Arabia on first stop of Mideast tour

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State

© APA | Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State

# 05 February 2024 18:35 (UTC +04:00)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Saudi Arabia, his first stop in a wider tour of the Middle East as Washington tries to advance negotiations on a normalization deal between the kingdom and Israel as well as make progress on talks for the governance of postwar Gaza, APA reports citing the Times of Israel.

The top US diplomat’s fifth trip to the region since Hamas’s deadly Oct. 7 assault comes at a particularly perilous moment amid retaliatory US strikes on Iran-backed militia across Syria, Iraq and Yemen in response to a drone strike last week in Jordan that killed three American troops and wounded dozens.

Blinken is also set to visit Egypt, Qatar and Israel later this week and push to advance the Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated conversations with Hamas to achieve a hostage deal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Saudi Arabia, his first stop in a wider tour of the Middle East as Washington tries to advance negotiations on a normalization deal between the kingdom and Israel as well as make progress on talks for the governance of postwar Gaza.

The top US diplomat’s fifth trip to the region since Hamas’s deadly Oct. 7 assault comes at a particularly perilous moment amid retaliatory US strikes on Iran-backed militia across Syria, Iraq and Yemen in response to a drone strike last week in Jordan that killed three American troops and wounded dozens.

Blinken is also set to visit Egypt, Qatar and Israel later this week and push to advance the Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated conversations with Hamas to achieve a hostage deal.

In Riyadh, Blinken is expected to meet with the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as his Saudi counterpart, foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

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