US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington will continue to play a key role in promoting normalization with Israel in the region. On the other hand, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan stressed that normalization without peace with the Palestinians will be of limited benefit.
This came in a joint press conference of the two ministers at the conclusion of a meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, between the foreign ministers of the Gulf states and the US Secretary of State.
Blinken said that Washington is working on Israel’s integration in the Middle East, deepening and expanding existing agreements.
However, the Saudi foreign minister commented that “without peace with the Palestinians, any normalization with Israel will be of limited benefit.”
In the context of combating terrorism, the two parties agreed on the need to continue cutting off the sources of funding for the Islamic State, and Faisal bin Farhan confirmed that the Kingdom is making great efforts to combat the financing of the organization.
However, he said, “It is unfortunate that there are developed countries that still refuse to receive their citizens from Al-Hol camp” (located in the countryside of Al-Hasakah Governorate, northeastern Syria), and added that “there are large countries that still refuse to receive their citizens who are members of the state organization.”
The Saudi minister also stressed the agreement on the need to provide a suitable environment for the return of refugees to Syria and Iraq.
In the same context, Blinken confirmed that the organization had suffered heavy losses, but it still constituted a threat and moved to other regions, and stressed the need to focus on areas in which the organization could be active, “especially Africa.”
Iran and Sudan
As for Iran and its nuclear program, the US Secretary of State said that they are coordinating with countries in the region to confront “Iran’s destabilizing behavior.”
In turn, the Saudi foreign minister revealed that his country is developing its domestic nuclear program, and said that Washington and other countries want to participate in the development of this program.
On the Sudanese issue, the Saudi Foreign Minister appealed to the parties to the conflict to work to “address the crisis through dialogue, not through arms,” while the US Secretary of State praised the efforts led by Riyadh to bring stability to Sudan.
A joint US-Gulf statement stressed the importance of joint efforts to work to reduce escalation in the region, praising at the same time Saudi Arabia and Iran’s decision to resume diplomatic relations.
The statement was issued at the conclusion of a meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, between the foreign ministers of the Gulf states and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
The US Gulf statement renewed support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and renewed Iran’s call for full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On the Syrian issue, the statement affirmed commitment to reaching a political solution to the crisis in a way that preserves Syria’s unity and sovereignty.
Regarding Sudan, the American Gulf statement said that there is no military solution to end the Sudanese conflict.
As for the Yemeni issue, the statement referred to support for Yemen’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.