Top Biden aide postpones trip to Middle East because of cracked rib

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White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has postponed a planned trip to Saudi Arabia as he recovers from a cracked rib, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

John Kirby, a White House spokesperson on national security issues, told reporters Sullivan was planning to travel to the region this week, but the trip has been postponed because he’s dealing with a cracked rib “that has affected his ability to travel a bit.”

“This was a minor accident of his own,” Kirby said. “It was not caused by anybody, it was not the result of a nefarious act.”

Kirby said Sullivan planned to get the trip back on his schedule as soon as possible.

Sullivan had reportedly planned to travel this week to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss a variety of topics. Among the items on the expected agenda was the U.S.’s push for normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Normalization efforts have been put on hold amid Israel’s war with Hamas following the terrorist group’s attack last October that killed more than 1,000 Israelis.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the crown prince and the Saudi prime minister last month during a trip to Jeddah, where Blinken “reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to achieve an enduring end to the crisis in Gaza and to the establishment of a future Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.”

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