US NSA to meet up with India-Saudi-UAE counterparts
Sullivan said on Thursday he will travel to Saudi Arabia this weekend for talks with Saudi leaders, as the United States seeks to bolster ties with Riyadh. Sullivan, speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he would be traveling to Saudi Arabia on Saturday for talks with Saudi leaders. He is expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is planning a meeting of Saudi-UAE-India NSAs in Saudi Arabia this weekend in what would be the first such initiative involving national security advisers in the volatile region where India has huge stakes.
Sullivan said on Thursday he will travel to Saudi Arabia this weekend for talks with Saudi leaders, as the United States seeks to bolster ties with Riyadh.
Sullivan, speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he would be traveling to Saudi Arabia on Saturday for talks with Saudi leaders. He is expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Oil production cuts by Saudi-led OPEC+ and differences between the United States and Saudi Arabia over the 2018 death of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi have adversely impacted ties. The China brokered Saudi-Iran deal took the USA by surprise.
Sullivan said the United States was working hard to normalise relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Sullivan said that also going to Saudi Arabia will be representatives from India and the United Arab Emirates to discuss “new areas of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf as well as the United States and the rest of the region.”
“Ultimately, getting to full normalization is a declared national security interest of the United States. We have been clear about that,” he said.
“Now, as a sign of my seriousness about how much we’re focused on this, and how seriously we are taking this, I am not going to say anything further lest I upset the efforts we are undertaking on this issue,” he said.
Sullivan said the United States still seeks a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program and regretted Trump’s decision in 2018 to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
The development is significant in the backdrop of the thaw in ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and Saudi efforts to bring back Syria into the Arab League. Saudi-USA ties have been lukewarm over the past few years and both Saudi Arabia and UAE, like India, have taken an independent foreign policy approach to engage Russia politically and commercially.
The Saudi and UAE approach on the Ukraine war came as a surprise to the West given their long-standing ties with the USA. Both have emerged as importers of Russian energy and have developed wide ranging commercial interests with Moscow.
India ,led by NSA Ajit Doval, has continued to nurture its growing strategic ties with both UAE and Saudi Arabia and has ties with Iran. Therefore, it made sense to involve India in the process, a source quipped. The Indian NSA visited Tehran earlier this week.
However, earlier efforts to create I2U2 (India-Israel-USA-UAE) with focus on commercial projects have not yielded concrete results yet on the ground.
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