US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has excluded Israel from a planned visit to the Middle East, Israeli media reported, noting this could relate to Iran’s nuclear issue.
“Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia 6-8 June to meet with Saudi officials to discuss US-Saudi strategic cooperation on regional and global issues and a range of bilateral issues including economic and security cooperation,” a US State Department press release disclosed.
“On June 7, the Secretary will also participate in a US-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial to discuss the growing cooperation with our GCC partners to promote security, stability, de-escalation, regional integration and economic opportunities across the Middle East,” the press release added.
Visiting Israel was part of the agenda of Blinken’s trip to the Middle East, but The Times of Israel reported an Israeli official saying the US State Department: “Moved away from the idea [of visiting Israel] shortly after realizing there was not enough time in his schedule.”
The Jerusalem Post reported a senior Israeli official indicating: “It is impossible to ignore the timing for canceling Blinken’s visit.”
“It could be merely technical as Washington is trying to exclude Iran’s nuclear file from its agenda until after the elections.” the official also said, adding:
“The US administration recognized that solving Iran’s nuclear issue could not happen without military action in Iran.”