US’s Blinken Raises Yemen War, Human Rights Issues in First Call with Saudi FM

US’s Blinken Raises Yemen War, Human Rights Issues in First Call with Saudi FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed “key priorities” for President Joe Biden’s administration, including the war in Yemen, in his first phone call with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on Friday.

In a statement on Saturday afternoon, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken and bin Farhan “discussed regional security, counterterrorism, and cooperation to deter and defend against attacks on the Kingdom”.

“The Secretary outlined several key priorities of the new administration including elevating human rights issues and ending the war in Yemen,” Price said.

The call comes after Biden announced on Thursday he was ending United States support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

Biden also said his administration would end all support, including connected arms sales, for Saudi Arabia in the war, which has led to what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

He also appointed veteran diplomat Timothy Lenderking, who has wide knowledge of the region, as US special envoy for Yemen.

The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported early on Saturday that Bin Farhan also congratulated Blinken on his appointment and said Riyadh looked forward to working with Washington.

The kingdom was eager to cooperate with Biden’s administration to uphold “security and stability” in the region, it said.

Blinken and bin Farhan also discussed the “historical and strategic relations” between the two countries, the agency added.

Blinken’s first call to a Persian Gulf state since assuming his new role was to the United Arab Emirates’ minister of foreign affairs on Thursday.

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