Top Biden adviser in Saudi Arabia as part of potential Israel normalisation push
As US officials look for ways to reach a deal normalising relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan arrived in the Kingdom on Thursday for high-level discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Sullivan’s trip is aimed at upgrading US-Saudi relations, with a possible normalisation agreement between the long-time regional adversaries also in the picture, two US sources told Axios.
Putting US-Saudi Ties Back On The Right Track
US officials have previously shined the spotlight on the Biden administration’s plan to try to complete this diplomatic initiative before the election campaign consumes the president’s agenda. Such an agreement could be unpopular among scores of Americans.
But it could also be a landmark breakthrough in Middle East peace, potentially triggering a domino effect of more and more countries in the region choosing to normalise relations with Israel and putting US-Saudi ties back on the right track.
Sullivan held discussions with the Crown Prince and other senior Saudi officials over “bilateral and regional matters, including initiatives to advance a common vision for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous and stable Middle East region interconnected with the world,” the White House said.
Talks also covered efforts to build on the benefits of a ceasefire in Yemen, along with the ongoing UN-led efforts to bring the brutal conflict to a close.
US Officials See Potential Normalisation Agreement As Possible
President Biden has had difficult relations with both MBS and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has argued against oil production cuts by the Kingdom and tried to persuade the Israeli leader to slow the pace of a drive for a controversial judicial reform that has triggered nationwide protests.
US officials believe a potential normalisation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel is possible after the previous Trump administration reached similar deals between Israel and Morocco, Bahrain, Sudan and the UAE.