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Blinken: Saudi Arabia ‘critical partner’ in expanding Abraham Accords

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends the Informal Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, May 15, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends the Informal Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, May 15, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Saudi Arabia is a “critical partner” in countering Iran’s force in the region as well as helping to expand the Abraham Accords between Israel and its neighbors.

Blinken was asked at a virtual event yesterday how the Biden administration is balancing its efforts to push Saudi Arabia on its human rights record with its desire for Riyadh’s assistance with the current energy crisis and for the Gulf kingdom to take steps toward normalizing ties with Israel.

“When we came in, President Biden was determined that we recalibrate the relationship with Saudi Arabia, and to make sure that the relationship was serving our own interests, as well as our values, as we move forward. But also preserving it, because it also helps us accomplish many important things… And that’s largely what we’ve done,” Blinken says.

“Saudi Arabia is a critical partner to us in dealing with extremism in the region, in dealing with the challenges posed by Iran, and also I hope in continuing the process of building relationships between Israel and its neighbors both near and further away through the continuation, the expansion of the Abraham Accords,” he adds.

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