Blinken, bin Salman discuss security, economic cooperation in Jeddah

Riyadh, June 7 (EFE).- United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed a broad range of issues focused on economic cooperation and security at the start of an official visit to Saudi Arabia, officials reported Wednesday.

At the meeting in the port city of Jeddah, the pair “reviewed the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, aspects of cooperation in various fields and ways to enhance it,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

It also said that they discussed “developments in the regional and international situation and the efforts exerted in this regard.”

No further detail was provided about this, but possibilities include Russia’s war in Ukraine, the conflicts in Yemen and Sudan, security in the Middle East and relations with countries such as Israel and Iran.

Blinken arrived late Tuesday night in Jeddah, on the shores of the Red Sea, and was received after midnight by the crown prince for a visit during which he will attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, made up of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Blinken will also attend a meeting of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. Despite having its roots in Iraq and Syria, the IS is now more active on the African continent, especially in the Sahel.

He expressed his appreciation to the crown prince for Saudi Arabia’s leadership in organizing the conference against the IS, and highlighted their “joint continued efforts to fight terrorism,” according to a statement from the State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“The two affirmed their shared commitment to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond, including through a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen,” he said.

“The Secretary also emphasized that our bilateral relationship is strengthened by progress on human rights. The Secretary and the Crown Prince discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy and technology fields,” Miller added.

The war in Sudan was also raised in Jeddah, where the US and Saudi Arabia mediated a ceasefire between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, who have clashed with each other since Apr. 15. EFE


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