US President Joe Biden will send a delegation to countries in the Middle East this week to discuss regional issues, according to Bloomberg News. The delegation will visit Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.
“A senior inter-agency delegation will be travelling over the coming week to discuss a number of important matters related to US national security and ongoing efforts towards a de-escalation of tension in the Middle East region,” a US official said.
The delegation will be led by Brett McGurk, co-ordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council. The team will include senior officials from the US State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense.
Issues that will be discussed are key to national security and include the Iran nuclear deal talks that are ongoing in Vienna, the UAE's F-35 purchase concerns and the ongoing efforts to defuse tensions in the Middle East.
One topic that is expected to dominate the visit, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE is the Iran nuclear programme. The US envoy to Iran Robert Malley held a meeting earlier this week with the foreign ministers of the GCC countries to brief them on developments at the ongoing talks in Vienna where new round of meetings resumed this week.
The trip is meant to end confusion and bring clarity to the US approach to the Middle East under the Biden administration. While the US is keen on returning to the Iran nuclear deal, the visit by the delegation could serve to reassure that the US is not abandoning its allies in the region..