As alliances shift, Blinken to hold talks with Gulf officials in Saudi

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for a series of meetings with Gulf leaders amid changing regional dynamics and tensions with Iran.

Blinken will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The talks are expected to cover a range of issues, such as the war in Yemen, the nuclear deal with Iran, the normalization of ties with Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Blinken’s visit comes at a time when the US is recalibrating its relations with its Gulf allies, who have been wary of President Joe Biden’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.

The US has also been pushing for an end to the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which has sparked a humanitarian catastrophe and a stalemate with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Blinken will likely seek to reassure his Gulf counterparts that the US remains committed to their security and interests, while also urging them to play a constructive role in regional stability and cooperation.

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