US Secretary of State arrives Saudi Arabia, sets to push for Sudan peace talks

US Secretary of State arrives Saudi Arabia, sets to push for Sudan peace talks

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Saudi Arabia for meetings on global security and economic matters where he is expected to push for talks to end the war in Sudan and strengthen the relationship between Washington and Riyadh.

Before his arrival in Saudi, the Department of State said in a statement that the top US official will “discuss US-Saudi strategic cooperation on regional and global issues and a range of bilateral issues including economic and security cooperation.” The statement said.

The talks may also include new discussions on Sudan, according to various sources.

During his meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince after his arrival in Jeddah, Mr. Blinken thanked Muhammad Bin Salman for Saudi Arabia’s support evacuating hundreds of U.S. citizens from Sudan, and for the Kingdom’s ongoing partnership in diplomatic negotiations to stop the fighting in Sudan.

The Secretary and the Crown Prince also discussed deepening economic cooperation, especially in the clean energy and technology fields, the US Department of State confirmed in a statement..

Washington wants the discussions to resume between the Sudanese army and rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, but only if the parties are “serious” about upholding the ceasefire.

The five-day extension of the Saudi-US brokered truce formally expired on Saturday evening in Sudan with the Saudi and US mediators again calling on the parties to agree to and effectively implement a new ceasefire, with the “aim of building to a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, as the Sudan crisis approaches its eighth week, no fewer than 1,800 people have been killed since the fighting started in the country.

1.2 million people have been displaced within Sudan, according to the UN, while more than 425,000 have fled abroad.

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