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U.S. Sec. of State Blinken MENA Tour to Add Stops in KSA and Morocco After Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia before going on to Morocco the third week of October, diplomatic sources told i24NEWS yesterday.

Blinken’s itinerary, which had originally included stops in Israel and at the Palestinian Authority (PA), has now been expanded to include Saudi Arabia and Morocco. The change is part of Washington’s effort to advance the normalization of diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh, as a follow on to the 2020 Abraham Accords, under which Morocco and certain Gulf states, including the UAE and Bahrain, resumed or initiated diplomatic ties with Israel.

Blinken met earlier this year in late March with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to address regional peace and security, highlighting Morocco’s role in stabilizing Middle East and Africa. They discussed concerns over violence in Israel and the West Bank, de-escalation efforts, and King Mohammed VI’s leadership with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.