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Top US Visit To Saudi Arabia Delayed Following Official’s Rib Fracture

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for Saudi Arabia (Credits: The Times of Isreal)

A planned high-level trip by US officials to Saudi Arabia was delayed after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan sustained a rib injury, the White House announced. Sullivan’s injury, described as resulting from a minor personal accident, hindered his travel plans, according to White House spokesperson John Kirby.

The delegation aimed to discuss a landmark agreement with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman for Saudi Arabia to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel. However, the feasibility of such an agreement has been clouded by the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has strained the possibility of Saudi recognition of Israel.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (Credits: Middle East Monitor)

Last week, during a gathering with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, President Joe Biden expressed optimism about Saudi Arabia’s potential full recognition of Israel, marking a historic shift.

He emphasized the necessity of a future-oriented plan post-Gaza conflict and the importance of paving the way toward a two-state solution. Biden believes that, although immediate implementation is not mandatory, a gradual progression towards peace and recognition is essential.

Additionally, the US is arranging to host an in-person meeting with top Israeli officials to present American proposals as alternatives to Israel’s proposed ground assault on Rafah in southern Gaza. This city has become a sanctuary for 1.5 million displaced Palestinians despite the conflict.

Jake Sullivan (Credits: NBC News)

After a recent virtual meeting, the US aims to facilitate this crucial in-person discussion within the next week, attempting to reconvene after previous plans were disrupted. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled an earlier meeting in response to the US’s decision not to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan.

This series of events underscores the complication and diplomatic challenges faced by the US in changing the volatile landscape of Middle Eastern politics, particularly in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader goal of achieving peace and stability in the region.

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