Saudi Arabia denies reports of Blinken visit in near future

Saudi Arabia denies reports of Blinken visit in near future
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Saudi Arabia has denied reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would visit the Kingdom in the near future.
The US has repeatedly tried to persuade Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to increase their oil production amid Russia's invasion [source: Getty]

 Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry denied media reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken would visit the Kingdom in the near future, state news agency (SPA) reported on Saturday.

An official from the ministry was cited as saying on Friday that Saudi Arabia was looking forward to welcoming Blinken to strengthen ongoing "positive" discussions, though no meeting has been scheduled yet in Riyadh.

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The US is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is the largest US export market in the Middle East, according to the American Embassy in the Kingdom. 

Joe Biden's administration, however, is increasingly dismayed that repeated efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia and the UAE to start pumping spare crude oil capacity following Russia's invasion of Ukraine have led nowhere. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson travelled to Riyadh, and the Abu Dhabi, this week to try to persuade Gulf leaders to boost oil production to help bring down prices. Johnson returned empty-handed.