Meeting In Jeddah, This Is What Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman And US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Discussed

JAKARTA - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed issues of handling terrorism to economic and scientific cooperation when meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in Jeddah on Wednesday.

The top US diplomat arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening amid tense relations, due to deepening disputes over Iran's policies to regional security concerns, oil prices and human rights.

Blinken's visit comes days after Saudi Arabia pledged to deepen oil production cuts over the broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply, as it seeks to increase sluggish oil prices despite opposition by the US Government.

Foreign Minister Blinken and Crown Prince MbS met for an hour 40 minutes, a US official said, discussing various topics including Israel, the conflict in Yemen, unrest in Sudan and human rights.

"There is a good level of convergence on potential initiatives where we share the same interest, while also admitting where we have differences," the US official said.

Met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss our shared priorities, including countering terrorism through the D-IS Coalition, achieving peace in Yemen, and deepening economy and scientific collaboration.

Most discussions are expected to dominate the possible normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, although officials have reduced the possibility of direct or major progress in the matter.

"They discussed the potential normalization of relations with Israel and agreed to continue dialogue on the matter," the US official said, without providing further details.

In a speech in Washington on Monday before leaving for Jeddah, Blinken warned the matter could not immediately progress.

"We have no illusion that this can be done quickly or easily," he said.

Previously, Saudi Arabia gave its blessing to neighboring the Gulf of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain who were in a relationship with Israel in 2020, when the US was under the Donald Trump Administration.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately follow suit, wanting the Palestinian state goal to be completed first. Last April, Saudi Arabia restored relations with Iran.

It is known that two days after Blinken's visit, Riyadh will host a large Arab-China investment conference.

Jonathan Fulton, a senior non-resident researcher at the Atlantic Council, said China would help Saudi Arabia in sectors where the United States would not, but relations between Riyadh and Beijing did not have the same depth as Washington.

"At this point I still consider AS-Saudi relations as strategic and China-Saudi relations as transactional," said Fulton.