US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Tuesday in Jeddah with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
In a statement after the meeting State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said Blinken “expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s leadership in hosting the D-ISIS Ministerial and stressed our joint continued efforts to fight terrorism.”
“The two affirmed their shared commitment to advance stability, security, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond, including through a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen,” added Miller.
“The Secretary also emphasized that our bilateral relationship is strengthened by progress on human rights. The Secretary and the Crown Prince discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy and technology fields. The Secretary also thanked the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia’s support evacuating hundreds of US citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to stop the fighting there,” he concluded.
Following the meeting, a US official quoted by Reuters said that Blinken and the Saudi Crown Prince had an "open, candid" discussion.
They discussed a full range of bilateral issues from Riyadh's potential normalization of ties with Israel to Yemen, Sudan and human rights issues, the official said.
"There was a good degree of convergence on potential initiatives where we share the same interests, while also recognizing where we have differences," the US official said, adding that the meeting lasted for an hour and forty minutes.
Blinken told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Summit on Monday he will discuss normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel during the trip.
Earlier this week, officials in Riyadh told the Israel Hayom newspaper that normalization with Israel is still on the table despite the recent reconciliation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Israel has been for years rumored to have behind-the-scenes ties with Saudi Arabia, but the Saudis have vehemently denied those rumors.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that his goal is to achieve a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia that would “effectively end the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
However, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital is a prerequisite for Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel.