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Saudi Crown Prince Meets US National Security Adviser On Gaza, Broad Bilateral Agreement

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Al Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

The Saudi state news agency said the meeting was to discuss a broad bilateral agreement and Israel’s war in Gaza.

The meeting took place in the Saudi city of Dhahran.

The official statement after the meeting read that “the semi-final version of the draft strategic agreements between the two countries,” are almost being finalised.”

The US and Saudi Arabia have been discussing US security guarantees and civilian nuclear assistance.

This will be part of a broader deal. The US hopes this will lead to the normalising of Saudi-Israeli relations.

The statement said Sullivan discussed the need to find a “credible track for bringing about the two-state solution.” He also called for the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and an end to the war.

The Biden administration and Saudi Arabia have been seeking to finalise the nuclear agreement. However, Israel-Saudi normalisation remains elusive.

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The White House said on Friday that Sullivan would visit Saudi Arabia and Israel to discuss the war in Gaza and efforts to achieve lasting peace.

Saudi Arabia is not an obvious candidate for a nuclear pact.

However, the Kingdom is seeking to generate substantial renewable energy and reduce emissions under an ambitious long-term plan.

Critics say Riyadh wants nuclear expertise in case it wishes to acquire nuclear weapons. This is despite US safeguards enshrined to prevent this in any deal with the Kingdom.

The security deal will also includes formal US commitments to defend Saudi Arabia.

This will include enhanced access to advanced US weaponry for the Kingdom. Saudi military procurement will thus move away from China.

The agreement also proposes cooperation in emerging technologies. This includes artificial intelligence.