WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday during a visit to the kingdom and reviewed what the White House called “significant progress.” in peace efforts in Yemen, the White House said.
In a trip meant to bolster often-frayed ties with Riyadh, Sullivan also held joint talks with the crown prince, UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and national security adviser of India, Ajit Doval, “to advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world economy,” the White House said.
Sullivan’s meeting came after a period in which US-Saudi ties have been strained by Saudi-led OPEC+ oil production cuts and differences over the 2018 murder of the journalist. from the Washington Post Jamal Khashoggi.
“He reviewed the significant progress in talks to further consolidate the now 15-month truce in Yemen and welcomed the ongoing UN-led efforts to end the war, as well as covering a variety of other topics,” the White House statement said. .
Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s top White House national security aide, also thanked the crown prince for Saudi support for US citizens during the evacuation from Sudan, the statement added.
US special envoy Tim Lenderking traveled to Oman and Saudi Arabia earlier this month to try to further peace efforts in Yemen, the State Department said.
A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after Iran-aligned Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa.
A Saudi delegation, seeking a permanent ceasefire agreement to end military involvement in the war, concluded peace talks in mid-April in Sanaa with the Houthi group, whose chief negotiator said the talks had progressed and that further discussions would take place.
The Yemen conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions starving, has been widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
A senior Israeli security official said Friday that Israel expected a breakthrough in efforts to normalize its ties with Saudi Arabia during Sullivan’s visit there.
But the White House statement did not mention Israel.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.