Top Biden aide to travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel this weekend

Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser, will travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend amid rising international tensions around the Israel-Hamas war, the administration confirmed Friday.

Sullivan will meet in Saudi Arabia with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday to talk about the war in Gaza and efforts to achieve peace in the region, White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters.

Sullivan will travel Sunday to meet with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss the war and “ongoing negotiations” to release hostages, as well as efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The announcement of Sullivan’s trip comes as Biden faces widespread frustration with the administration’s handling of the war in Gaza — from within his party and from across the aisle. The House on Thursday approved a bill to reverse Biden’s pause on some weapons shipments to Israel in a slight against the president’s approach.

Sullivan postponed a planned trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this year due to a cracked rib. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the crown prince in March, when he “reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to achieve an enduring end to the crisis in Gaza and to the establishment of a future Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.”

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