The trip by the top U.S. diplomat comes at a time when U.S. influence in the Middle East is on the wane.
High-level diplomacy often involves tricky footwork, but few were more tricky than during a visit to Saudi Arabia by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
In the months since his last visit to the region, the geopolitical landscape has changed dramatically.
Saudi Arabia surprised the United States by resuming relations with Iran under the mediation of China.
Riyadh is ignoring U.S. demands to boost oil production after the Ukraine war sent prices up, which would help keep prices down and keep U.S. voters happy.
Blinken will also meet with ministers from other Gulf states.
This comes as Israel’s new far-right government steps up its aggression against the Palestinians.
So, what is weighing on US influence in the Middle East?
Can Blinken repair its frayed relationship?
host: Imran Khan
Abdulaziz Alghashian – Analyst on Saudi affairs and research fellow at the Project on Sectarianism, Proxies and Desectarianization at Lancaster University
Hillary Mann Leverett – Former US diplomat, former National Security Council official, CEO of political risk consulting firm STRATEGA
Foad Izadi – Head of Department of American Studies, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran