Biden sends Sullivan to Saudi Arabia in possible push for major Israel deal
Driving the news: Sullivan's trip is aimed at continuing the talks over a possible deal on upgrading U.S.-Saudi relations that would also include a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the two sources said.
- U.S. officials have previously said the administration wants to try to complete this diplomatic initiative before the presidential election campaign consumes President Biden's agenda, as Axios reported earlier this year.
- Such a deal could be unpopular among Democrats and might cost Biden a lot of political capital. But a deal could be a historic breakthrough in Middle East peace, leading to a domino effect of more Arab and Muslim-majority countries normalizing relations with Israel and putting U.S.-Saudi relations back on track.
Details: Brett McGurk, the White House Middle East czar, and Amos Hochstein, Biden's senior adviser for energy and infrastructure, joined Sullivan on his trip, the sources said.
- The visit was first reported by the New York Times.
- Sullivan met with MBS and other senior Saudi officials "to discuss 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 in a readout of the visit.
- "Sullivan also reviewed significant progress to build on the benefits of the truce in Yemen that have endured over the past 16 months and welcomed ongoing UN-led efforts to bring the war to a close," the readout added. "Both delegations agreed to maintain regular consultations and follow up on matters discussed throughout the day."
Editor's note: This story has been updated with the readout of the visit.