Blinken to visit key US ally Saudi Arabia

The State Department announced on Friday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia the next week amid tense tensions between Washington and its steadfast Middle Eastern ally.

Blinken’s visit to Riyadh from June 6 to 8 will focus on the conflicts in the Sudan and Yemen, the persistent threat posed by the Islamic State, and strengthening Riyadh’s ties with Israel.

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It occurs as talks are underway in the Red Sea city of Jeddah between the warring generals in Sudan, which the United States and Saudi Arabia are attempting to mediate.

“There is just a tremendous amount of work that we’re trying to do” with the visit, said Daniel Benaim, a senior State Department official dealing with Arabian Peninsula affairs.

“We’re focused on an affirmative agenda here and the great deal of work our countries can do together.”

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