The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has made his arrival in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. In his visit, he is scheduled to engage in extensive discussions with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan. These talks are anticipated to cover a range of topics and concerns of mutual interest.
This visit marks Blinken’s fifth trip to the Middle East since the onset of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. However, it is his first since the commencement of the operation against the Yemeni Houthis. The frequency of these visits indicates an increasing level of US involvement in the geopolitical events unfolding in the region.
During his diplomatic tour, the US Secretary of State also has plans to visit other key nations in the region, including Qatar, Egypt, and Israel. On his agenda are significant negotiations aimed at achieving a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and discussing the potential exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners. Additionally, the US is advocating for an increase in the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza to alleviate the suffering of its residents.
It’s noteworthy that the US has been escalating its attacks not just on Houthi bases, but also on locations believed to be associated with Iran and its allies in Syria and Iraq. This action comes as a response to an attack carried out by an Iraqi Shiite group on a military base in Jordan, where American soldiers were stationed, leading to the unfortunate demise of three servicemen.