U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo on Wednesday as he wrapped up an important swing through the Middle East which included stops in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well.
According to an official statement from NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on the trip, Sullivan was joined by National Security Council Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Brett McGurk and U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking.
The Middle East push was a second round of engagements. According to a source quoted by Politico, “these meetings are ‘the next evolution of recent engagements.’ Lenderking was in Saudi Arabia and Oman over the last two weeks, the official said, also noting that Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated in a ministerial meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council last week at UNGA.”
In a meeting on Monday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Sullivan and MBS discussed a ceasefire for the war in Yemen, the Iranian threat and Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, according to Axios.
Sullivan is the highest-ranking Biden administration official to visit the kingdom, a visit that came nearly 10 months after U.S. President Joe Biden was sworn in. Saudi Arabia was the first nation that President Donald Trump visited himself, in a nod to the warm relations enjoyed at the time between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.
Sullivan met the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
In Egypt, Sullivan emphasized Biden’s commitment to a two-state solution in the Wednesday meeting. Sullivan also said that improvement by Egypt in the area of human rights could be linked to American aid, according to news reports.
He was planning to encourage Egypt in promoting security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and express Biden’s support for the two-state solution, as well as discussing “support for Libyan elections and regional security, including in the Horn of Africa,” according to the NSC.
Last week, Sullivan made a call to Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to the transitional democratic government in Sudan. Sullivan also said that Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, will visit Sudan soon.