October 2, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday refuted claims that a forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia signals America’s waning influence in the Middle East, insisting that the U.S. is “not going anywhere.”

Tim Lenderking, U.S. special envoy for Yemen, said that diplomatic visits by other global powers were to be expected, but said that the U.S. had asserted its commitment to the region following a visit by Biden in July.

“The major message that the president brought to the region is that the United States is not going anywhere,” Lenderking told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

Reports emerged Thursday that Xi is to arrive in Saudi Arabia next week for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the Chinese premier’s first official foreign visit since 2020 — as Beijing and Riyadh seek to consolidate ties. China’s foreign ministry on Thursday neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry and China’s foreign ministry were not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC on Friday.

That Xi is expected to be met with all the pomp and fanfare afforded to former U.S. President Donald Trump during his 2017 visit does little to improve the optics of Biden’s visit, which was a low-key affair that critics say achieved little amid strained personal ties between the two leaders. However, Lenderking insisted that the U.S. retains a “vital” presence.

“The United States is a vital partner to not only Saudi Arabia but each of the countries in the region,” he said.

“America can be counted on to remain in the neighborhood as a support for the countries and their security. That is an American priority,” he added.

Yemen conflict

Within that, Yemen — which has been devastated by civil war since 2014 — is a key U.S. focus, Lenderking said, whom Biden appointed a special envoy to the country last year.

Lenderking said that making progress toward resolving the conflict had been a major accomplishment for Biden during his visit last month. That included convincing Saudi Arabia to extend and strengthen a U.N.-mediated truce and engaging in talks to end the war.

As a result, the conflict is now halfway toward a resolution, Lenderking said.

Yemen has been battling civil war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement since 2014.
Yemen has been battling civil war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement since 2014.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“I think we’re better than 50%; I wouldn’t have said that six months ago,” he said. “We’ve got a moment to change the course of the conflict. This is the time to do it.”

He added that Yemen is a crisis in which otherwise adversarial relationships can be overlooked and welcomed collaboration with China and Russia in that area.

China “want to see progress in Yemen during their presidency on the security council,” he said, referring to Beijing’s current role as head of the United Nations Security Council.

“I think that’s an important element where we can find commonality between us – China, Russia, the United States – working together on a political solution to the Yemen conflict,” he added.

Rising nuclear risks in the region

Lenderking also noted that Iran, with whom the U.S. shares a long history of fractured relations, could play a constructive role in resolving the conflict in Yemen. However, he said that that was not a prerequisite for a resolution.

It comes against the backdrop of continued talks between the U.S and Iran to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

Asked whether he believed it was possible to see nuclear weapons in countries such as Iran and potentially other countries in the region, Lenderking replied: “I think that would be unfortunate. I hope that’s not the case.”

Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect that Lenderking was asked whether he believed it was possible to see nuclear weapons in countries including Iran.

https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1HeVRmHay2LWRvgrPCBIGOVUpHrBtECa_
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/15zXtOh6RA_vUAApuiKMV0e1B2ZYggmEv
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1UKgJ1rZspRIYJQJmY93TAZ59AyHfiDi3
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1vWMzATfGc3Y3NsrbQnpuKGuIsHBnVGyz
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1fXHqSVUl6dpzaUozZSHjbE-cpuaf0urw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Td0kTioaIiZQGb7pGfoMAm4DfEZ9hmgC
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1ZlWZi4wY27tebuVdR-NdnjBZGMTw-xVp
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1HZNH1gNkJGO6CTVD8yQhwk1HUbYeD-OD
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1AZoX6IzZdcc6MlGsFWwBq-8X9_6SbvDg
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1dQtkLTKBMUKLolvXoOLuMCn3yB6zeAuF
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1N129Gb1qSpJL-HU53E6Wi_c5agrbB3Zf
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Bxq7LiBgj4wC9kxczqe7VOxrWeYev-SN
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1XLCpQPre1kA1sQARCpcP_ALLx22_oMqV
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1rhvB-uqr5P2KwgJ-Jxp65fcxiIPnAHua
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1GiY1JoCCY05fTNQJu0n0UtYUfNCcHu7h
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1goU-27YL4tHnwSue1mh6Rf82VXfcPfSt
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1xQvsnG2E5eQPptsd8rZKfpO-SZqsQuhx
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1YMA70fPE_9aqkWHNHtI65Nvd3YiRJ2WG
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1iPqBNlIA9OhTi7Atp9_eYEukjan6A1mw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Hxycal4kWnsdABfOVjKNmOcBEiMcCaB1
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1GAvJgdbSujn8_rcPbsz7PLiaVfhPa36Y
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1l7L93s9fUIporBm-0maRYkZnsgjWC1nK
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/10WgTo4PcVPbk6-wYYj_BihYyvl2H3WwP
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1lLhh1LKRW6Hq2I96bTj_loxi27GdBGAp
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1iVmp2K6no9aXUWnQeETEbnRRRlFfyxV4
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1MQB5FRgcuC3jZoqt__KtJFc5H8bZ8YoV
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1BPbQZ8kQCOXwxekOeYxcAbQGRNCyfbBp
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Zcys7gaYZVgYcKBM3IMWIPRayBNi2nPF
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1JFWPLElRWg9D3GkYYBqPg33Ooa4t7nbw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1LkAU8eg-Fk85aeNtvJn8njpfMGIIkXp-
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1O4eSLyD0dvriz1vDSceP4tSl-6INvgF8
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Ps2WDDq0Zqlu88m_-lyfmm_R1fZV-Km0
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1qOxlPRMfm1oQ0fVZYuq6auxWPdJpt2CY
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1UxtoRj6EqimZucQZ6oNcRs2rANt-rHrw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1nRZHPyb99NBkVDffkmGh_I8srSWqShhh
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1qXuoVog5LqHY_7UFr_G4NgQskRgFmPwB
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1hIkEMXFlS08AEVyd8HtC8IMKlByQ3mQh
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1uOtoXt0jZz698FEhCkhQ422RqR3Jjhbg
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Haf5YI-FvyuTiN2juakMA8Fho00SU-xu
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1N2N1s5ZTHQ2mY7_22lBNz0WB77A7SJwq
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1E-EWZ6YpZkGpE6K3bLZU2d2hJAJzEfud
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/19fKPdRNPzo0xPMC7Ht4XaqQuCOmS5zDR
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Nh-yQjLqG0fb4pOe4owIvkN1A5Zzt54x
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1GHWFSJ9RVyXLu5kwPyLFvyd_s-Pb0tVO
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1I1c-0BSR6xr4sEKo4btFBM0WvMnjGvgY
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1wcp-8R2r607Jxa1PCbiefWqrxz1QGPna
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/17DY3l7BAVS5saRNniGI-Vn5Brsv8o677
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1J7okc7DQ3PVJ4J3QwZtO3BAoCkE-OTKp
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/19xfh5o25TgZrwMco-TymYnrzFsSfugMo
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1lcG_hAOtUS7jOgWgdvqO3yca_WBtJVCa
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1lSBzMxwuK4zpviX6Lsp761hf3QilcBP9
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1rIUsjLJet299tLyU8Lr6y15fwyk-Y4-H
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1HXFnjBDI-P_yMajAaSJdcLyk2xUSd2Dc
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1O930E5Q_aUE3dq4oCCXMWN6b_Um2NkdJ
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1vXM8WTDf0x-9zIMWK36r_LP80hsea0zd
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1xTKWkiQ3vSuY-fN12BlxCAoUySjZ8pgP
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1bleRCfwTXVsDpxT72uwxxzWcGUm4VdAo
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1npYn2LFsgEmj_2JpSDn-ej8UDoR0HguX
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/15LuxoVV-tt1E5LST3QY0edpwy6Le6em1
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1nknN1OVU2GeufJrqiAv97spvPPliwnvh
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/12UC6WrFCgientDNC_7TxH437FwC4gOix
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1Q4c4tZ7RRzQRlhjeMC9STV1MHDvdOIS5
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1SxnynPHdbLlYRHNcUTcSA0wmAzr7scBi
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/15nNQlczuWKfouS8jU2CKal3YOzOdNuSL
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1ITEKXEqcm3dXnsLHtaMRPr-fvs65fx-u
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1zzed-Cz3DEgrPv8S8xnS1xaP8HbK2ZKG
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/15Irmv90Q0ywNm_qdK7iLXVXR5l2Npp0G
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1t8tobBhRA3VlUdqfUemv43RIAiHUD_zK
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1p9nPyJEj5tlva3t64Fm7Seq7gSZ_uiua
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1tb2upfMctCjXaPqyNUn4gzJZPSrWpTg_
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1zuJtxYAfD5zctiueW_GketkClfpBnK86
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1uxWNCEbeZU4MowbF_GHx3vbnEOQBweXj
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1f3aJhqtzBXXHqA_n8TS7mPD-OzCzRWkX
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1b7YVDYfyngoSUYnkcYIw_xCxCnlwRtKs
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1wHZdnZTdwThgZ4YheJxweHJBnW032ANu
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/14gYYFLgI0k2h9yb6OnPG7ZjK2nwGOgVc
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1fh-XO-RST4CZZ6di6rhCXbRsJlTdvP3r
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1qj0zIFuWouoWixVZOrpbsNWnEFB3t6Xw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1mLkQ9aGprEz6JryuG50OPIjht4OzD3HS
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1jIBTP7NTIWMgreURysenF7OrvUnhDxhZ
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/13lNivXNlXjdnk3Z5KosNP6wC1Dtm7to_
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1YrY3VIAu68OIhXA_HWuFkeLxW-QbObo8
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1AJV-9tHt1X6IjoHXnvvItBr_laNJBOer
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1RHKuF-u04oQ4ZY5cr-dmFOg7-IipYkpK
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1XiQHV8ILwcpwL0bgeyoL_bBtdkyougcE
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1YOzLjFlIbvYowsW42x9gw-kP–ZGEhow
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1lobplQN3VuI2QFX5TbABVJK7LYX3I5x6
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/18d6f5zS-u6-rRtTKYQQ-QcCHzHIT6Sl2
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1l58fFofmCyz8al6FmQjQ4u1D0RcabZJV
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1gtKqgKnnLK3BrNLaogmWLuPSNnxMGu-U
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1iWx9q7Su2CtNVDYRNOkFKBZm91zOQbIr
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/142GbWXI9pd40byeIj7I4PtzVtO8qvOkM
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1K27S29zhY4UrIhVEoKwz5Mo2v7Cz-SaK
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1sGTt0xdN0_GNXLbuVLFw8wNzxZnsFo8u
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1N9G0Ks5stWo7lU7pOeM-8f1k6AxjHmf1
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1X2Dj1iQ7RFDbKVdg6ouwlAWwPVYHbEGb
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1_eEuUAIVaDu7l4O_Do5kW1QbFHLtE-nw
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/10VOUSd8IznWWNAvrqMYK4OOWqe1Ib8WH
https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1JAbIFCZnI0CGRxeJqKAPn0VLbEouhN5C

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.