Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia amid tensions with America, sources revealed.

(CNN)– Chinese President Xi Jinping is due on a two-day state visit to Saudi Arabia on Thursday amid rising US tensions with the two countries, according to a source with knowledge of the trip, an Arab diplomat and two senior Arab officials.

Xi’s visit to Riyadh will include a China-Arab summit and a conference with the Cooperation Council for the Gulf Arab States (GCC), according to four sources.

At least 14 Arab heads of state are expected to attend the summit, according to an Arab diplomatic source who described the visit as a “milestone” for Arab-Chinese relations.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Rumors of a visit by the Chinese president to America’s biggest ally in the Middle East have been circulating for months, but have yet to be confirmed by the Saudi and Chinese governments.

Beijing has not officially announced Xi’s visit to Saudi Arabia. CNN has contacted the country’s foreign ministry for comment.

Last week, the Saudi Arabian government sent out registration forms for journalists to cover the summit without confirming the exact dates. The Saudi government declined to respond to CNN’s request for information on Xi’s visit and the planned summit.

Reports about the long-awaited visit come against a backdrop of a series of US disagreements with both Beijing and Riyadh, which have only strengthened ties in recent years, much to Washington’s dismay.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are locked in a heated dispute over oil production, which culminated in strong rhetoric and cross-accusations in October when the Saudi-led OPEC+ oil group cut production by 2.5 percent in a day in an effort to “stabilize.” million barrels of production cut. prices.

The decision was taken despite a strong American campaign against the measure.

Saudi Arabia, a staunch US ally for eight long decades, protests what it perceives as a decline in the US security presence in the region, especially amid growing threats from Iran and its armed Yemeni militias .

China, formerly an economic giant, has been at loggerheads with the United States over Taiwan, which US President Joe Biden has repeatedly vowed to defend in the event of a Chinese attack. The sensitive issue has further exacerbated precarious relations between Washington and Beijing, which are vying for influence in the already volatile Middle East.

As US allies in the Arabian Gulf accuse Washington of failing to honor its security guarantees in the region, China is deepening ties with Gulf monarchies as well as US enemies Iran and Russia.

Both China and Saudi Arabia have also taken divergent positions from the West on the war in Ukraine. Both have refrained from supporting sanctions on Russia. And Riyadh has repeatedly said Moscow is a major energy producing partner that should be consulted on OPEC+ decisions. Following massive oil cuts last month, some US officials have accused Saudi Arabia of favoring Russia and helping President Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine.

Saudi officials have denied arming the oil or siding with Russia.

Biden said in October that the United States needed to “rethink” its relationship with Saudi Arabia, which the president apparently tried to improve during a visit to Riyadh in July. Vowing to make the kingdom “untouchable” and condemning Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Biden flew to Riyadh amid a global oil shortage and gave bin Salman a fist bump. Greeted with the collision, which made headlines around the world. World.

However, the voyage, ultimately icy, resulted in no increase in oil production and only raised tensions.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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