US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel says White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and US special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking will be in Saudi Arabia this week, confirming The Times of Israel’s earlier reporting on the matter.
Patel says the US delegation will discuss “a range of regional and bilateral matters” and insists that this was a “long-scheduled visit.”
A US and Palestinian official told The Times of Israel earlier this week that the US delegation will be discussing a potential normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
McGurk will subsequently visit Bahrain in preparation for Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa upcoming visit to Washington, Patel says.
Leaf will proceed to travel to Amman followed by Jerusalem, briefing Jordanian and Israeli officials on her talks in Saudi Arabia, an Israeli official told the Times of Israel on Monday.