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US national security advisor to visit Saudi Arabia

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said he will pursue "very tangible initiatives" on his trip to Saudi Arabia
— Washington (AFP)

President Joe Biden's national security advisor said on Thursday he will travel to Saudi Arabia at the weekend for talks with Saudi leaders as well as Indian and Emirati officials.

"This weekend I will be in Saudi Arabia for meetings with its leadership," Jake Sullivan said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank in Washington.

Sullivan's trip, which starts on Saturday, comes as relations between Washington and Riyadh have been strained since Biden's visit to the kingdom in July 2022, even though the two countries are collaborating in many areas, including recently on the crisis in Sudan.

"My (United Arab Emirate) and Indian counterparts will come to Saudi Arabia as well for meetings so that we can discuss new area of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf as well as the United States and the rest of the region, fueled in part by the comprehensive economic partnership signed last year between India and the UAE," Sullivan said,

"This can help us carry forward some very tangible initiatives that we think will be unlike anything we have seen the region in recent years," he added.

Sullivan, in what was billed as a US strategy speech, said the conflict in Yemen would be "a significant topic" during discussions over the weekend, praising the parties for working on a "roadmap to ultimately bring the war to an end."

Sullivan, who is Biden's top aide on national security matters, has been closely involved in Middle East issues and reiterated Washington's firm commitment to the region, using a strategy he said was both "realistic and pragmatic."

He said the strategy was based on "five basic elements: partnerships, deterrence, diplomacy and de-escalation, integration and values."