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Blinken in Saudi Arabia With Israel Normalization on Agenda

(JNS) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, June 6 with the establishment of diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Jerusalem on the agenda.

Speaking at the 2023 AIPAC Policy Summit in Washington on Monday, Blinken said the Biden administration aimed to “achieve significant historic progress to deepen and broaden the Abraham Accords.”

It is in America’s national security interests to promote Saudi-Israeli normalization, he said.

“We believe that we can and indeed we must play an integral role in advancing it. Now, we have no illusions that this can be done quickly or easily. But we remain committed to working toward this outcome,” Blinken said.

While in the kingdom, the top U.S. diplomat is expected to meet with senior Saudi officials and possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

His trip to Saudi Arabia comes on the heels of White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s visit there on May 7. Sullivan had said that the U.S. was prioritizing normalizing relations, calling it “a declared national security interest.”

Sullivan met with MBS during his visit, telling him that Washington sees an opportunity for an Israeli-Saudi deal by the end of the year.

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