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White House's Sullivan, recovering from cracked rib, postpones Saudi trip

FILE PHOTO: Press briefing at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has postponed plans to travel to Saudi Arabia this week as he recovers from a cracked rib following a minor accident, the White House said on Wednesday.

Sullivan had been due to hold talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid a U.S. push for progress toward normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The injury "has affected his ability to travel," White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. "This was a minor accident of his own. It was not caused by anybody. It was not the result of a nefarious act."

Kirby said Sullivan looks forward to rescheduling the trip, but did not provide a date.

Talks on normalization had been put on ice in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian Hamas fighters on southern Israel and Israel's subsequent assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza, but conversations have resumed in recent months.

As part of a normalization deal, Saudi Arabia wants to clinch a mutual defense pact with Washington and get U.S. support for its civil nuclear program.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Doina Chiacu and Katharine Jackson; editing by Rami Ayyub and Doina Chiacu)