As the White House works to normalize ties between the nation and Israel, President Joe Biden sent his national security adviser Jake Sullivan to Saudi Arabia on Thursday for meetings with the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Crown Prince, who is frequently referred to by his initials MBS, and other Saudi officials were to meet with Sullivan, according to a brief statement from the White House.
According to the White House, the extensive discussions included plans to “advance a common vision for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East” and efforts to put an end to the protracted conflict between the Saudis and Iran’s ally Houthis in Yemen.
According to an official with the White House National Security Council who is acquainted with the situation, Sullivan and MBS also spoke about the Biden administration’s efforts to improve ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly remark.
The Trump administration assisted in bringing about the “Abraham Accords,” which helped normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco.
The endeavor to strengthen the traditionally tense relationship between the Middle East’s two major powers follows.
A normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, the most powerful and affluent Arab state, has the power to fundamentally alter the region and elevate Israel’s stature.
However, brokering such a deal would be difficult because the kingdom has declared that it will not recognize Israel in its official capacity until the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been resolved.
Following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the region last month, which was partly intended to encourage normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Sullivan’s visit took place.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stated during Blinken’s recent visit that normalizing relations with Israel would have “limited benefits” without “finding a pathway to peace for the Palestinian people.”
At a time when Israel is governed by the most right-wing administration in its history and tensions with the Palestinians have risen, the Saudis have also demonstrated a reluctance to move forward with mending relations with Israel.
The establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and Gaza—territories Israel took in the 1967 war—has received repeated calls from Saudi Arabia.