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In Saudi, Jake Sullivan leans on UAE, India to foster regional integration

One analyst said that with this trip, the US looks to include Saudi Arabia into Washington’s new approach of merging South Asia and the Middle East, will discuss rail and minerals projects.
Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, follows US President Joe Biden to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base September 17, 2022, in Maryland. They will travel to London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is set to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Saturday on the most senior visit by a Biden administration official since the presidential visit in July 2022, and on the heels of China's breakthrough deal between Riyadh and Tehran last March.

Sullivan is expected to meet the country's de-facto ruler Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two spoke by phone on April 11, and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk visited last month in anticipation of the visit. 

The US senior official will be joined with officials from the UAE and India, in a bid to restore worn ties with Riyadh and boost regional integration. Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Thursday, Sullivan said he would be discussing "new areas of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf as well as the United States and the rest of the region."

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s national security advisor and the chair of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, will be at the talks with Sullivan, a diplomatic source told Al-Monitor. The source said that Indian national security advisor Ajit Doval would also be at the talks. 

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