Washington will press ahead with efforts to normalize diplomatic ties between its main Middle East allies Saudi Arabia and Israel, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.
But he declined to say whether the United States would back Riyadh’s nuclear ambitions.
At a joint news conference, Blinken’s Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said he hoped an agreement could be reached for the United States to aid his country’s bid to generate nuclear power.
Neither addressed whether U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s civilian nuclear program could be given in exchange for normalization with Israel, a deal that has been floated by Riyadh.
Blinken, who was in the kingdom as part of a U.S. push to defuse rows that have touched on oil prices, human rights and Riyadh’s opening to Iran, said normalizing relations between Israel and its neighbors to make way for a more integrated Middle East was a priority for the United States.
“We discussed it here, and we will continue to work at it, to advance it, in the days, weeks and months ahead,” he said as he concluded his three-day visit.