Washington, D.C./ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 20, 2024
US Envoy Sullivan Maneuvers Through Saudi Arabia & Israel Talks Amid Gaza TensionsSource: Google Street View

In a critical move for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan embarked on a pivotal diplomatic mission over the weekend, visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel to address ongoing regional tensions and strife.

On Saturday, Sullivan met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to hash out issues that have kept the region on edge, such as the persistent war in Gaza. According to NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson, the talks covered a breadth of "bilateral and regional matters, including the war in Gaza and ongoing efforts to achieve a lasting peace and security in the region." Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been strained over human rights concerns, but this meeting may signal a warming, or at least a pragmatic engagement.

The White House has made it clear that Sullivan's discussions in the Kingdom were just a precursor to a more extensive meeting with Israeli officials, which included Prime Minister Netanyahu. The agenda in Israel was primarily focused on "the war in Gaza, ongoing negotiations to secure the release of all the hostages, the humanitarian crisis, and our shared objective for the enduring defeat of Hamas through both military pressure and a political plan," as noted by Watson.

Sullivan's trip underscored the Biden administration's determination to refresh diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, and the outcomes of these meetings could be pivotal for the region's stability. As the war in Gaza continues to fuel humanitarian concerns, the U.S. is pushing for a resolution that extends beyond military might to encompass a political strategy for sustainable peace.