Boris Johnson speaks with Joe Biden at NATO Summit
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The US President will arrive in the Middle Eastern nation today and spend two days there before flying on to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in a move that has been slammed by Democrats at home in the US.
It is hoped the trip will boost relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia while the US believes that Iran is aiding Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said US intelligence claimed the Iranian government is providing Putin with drones that were originally intended to be used in Yemen.
He told a White House briefing: “Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles].”
President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia has proven controversial, as he had promised in his election campaign to make the oil-rich nation a “pariah” following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
However, he now needs them to keep providing the US with oil amid skyrocketing petrol prices at home, which has led to his approval ratings plummeting.
Mr Sullivan said: “Our diplomacy with Saudi Arabia is now delivering results, including a truce in Yemen, a more integrated Gulf Cooperation Council, progress on energy security, and security co- operation against threats from Iran.”
Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran next week alongside Turkish President Erdogan to meet with President Raisi.
Turkey’s leader has been acting as a peace broker between Russia and Ukraine, although he has also supplied drones to President Zelensky’s forces.
While Iran initially appeared ambiguous about the invasion of Ukraine, it has, like Russia, blamed NATO expansion for the war, reported The Times.
The extent to which Iran has aided Putin is as yet unclear but it has offered similar help to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi rebels fighting in the civil war in Yemen.
According to The Independent, military delegations from Russia, Turkey and Ukraine will meet with UN officials in Istanbul this week to discuss a potential deal to resume Ukrainian grain exports from the Black Sea.
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Over 20 million tonnes of grain are currently trapped in the port city of Odesa as a result of the fighting.
President Zelensky has warned Putin’s invading forces: “The occupiers have already felt what modern artillery is like, and their rear will not be safe anywhere on our land that they have occupied.
“They have felt that the operations of our intelligence officers for defending their homeland are of a magnitude stronger than any of their special operations.”
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