Blinken meets Saudi crown prince amid West Asia tensions : The Tribune India

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Blinken meets Saudi crown prince amid West Asia tensions

US warns of stern action if attacked by Iran-backed militias

Blinken meets Saudi crown prince amid  West Asia tensions

Antony Blinken. File photo



Riyadh/Jerusalem, February 5

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, his first stop in a Middle East tour as Washington tries to advance negotiations on a normalisation deal between the kingdom and Israel, and make progress on talks for postwar Gaza governance.

Blinken is also set to visit Egypt, Qatar and Israel this week and push to advance the Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated conversations with Hamas to achieve a hostage deal.

In Riyadh, Blinken met with the kingdom’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and his Saudi counterpart, foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, a US official said.

After a weekend of retaliatory strikes, the US on Sunday warned Iran and the militias it arms and funds that it will conduct more attacks if American forces in the West Asia continue to be targeted, but that it does not want an “open-ended military campaign” across the region. “We are prepared to deal with anything,” said Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser. Sullivan said Iran should expect “a swift and forceful response” if it — and not one of its proxies — “chose to respond directly” against the US.

Sullivan delivered the warnings after the US and Britain on Saturday struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen. The Iran-backed militants have fired on American and international interests repeatedly in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. An air assault Friday in Iraq and Syria targeted other Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in retaliation for the drone strike that killed three US troops in Jordan recently. — Reuters

#Antony Blinken #Gaza #Israel #Saudi Arabia #United States of America USA #Washington


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