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Blinken Tightens Ties and Pushes U.S. Middle East Agenda with MBS in Saudi Arabia

HeadlineJun 07, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Saudi Arabia, where he met with crown prince and de facto head of state Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. Blinken said the pair “discussed deepening economic cooperation” as the U.S. vies to increase its sway in the region, including over gas prices, amid competing bids for influence from China and Russia, and to push for the normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations. As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over its human rights record and the assassination of journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In related news, Iran has reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia after it recently restored diplomatic ties in a Beijing-brokered deal.

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