x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 November 2017

Saudi minister for Gulf affairs to visit Washington

Thamer Al Sabhan has taken a lead role in Saudi Arabia's response to the crisis in Lebanon following prime minister Saad Hariri's resignation on Saturday

Saudi minister of state for Arab Gulf affairs Thamer Al Sabhan is seen here, left, meeting Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari in January 2016. AFP
Saudi minister of state for Arab Gulf affairs Thamer Al Sabhan is seen here, left, meeting Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari in January 2016. AFP

Saudi minister of state for Arab Gulf affairs Thamer Al Sabhan will visit Washington this week for consultations with US senior officials on the latest regional developments, sources told The National on Tuesday.

Mr Al Sabhan will be arriving in the US capital on Wednesday and will meet with senior national security and state department officials, one source said. The Saudi minister has taken a lead role in Saudi Arabia's response to the crisis in Lebanon following prime minister Saad Hariri's resignation on Saturday.

The two men met in Riyadh earlier last week, before Mr Hariri's resignation. Since Saturday, Mr Al Sabhan has been a vocal critic of Hizbollah.

“We will treat the government of Lebanon as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia due to the aggression of Hizbollah,” he told the Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya on Tuesday.

The visit will be Mr Al Sabhan’s second to Washington since the spring. Last month, he also took a trip to northern Syria with US envoy Brett McGurk to discuss reconstruction of Raqqa, ISIL's former Syrian stronghold.

_______________

Read more:

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets with former Lebanon PM Hariri

Opinion: Saad Hariri’s resignation was a shock, but what will happen next?

Hariri has audience with King Salman after resigning as Lebanese PM