in-order-to-reaffirm-us-commitment-to-intelligence-collaboration,-cia-director-visits-saudi-arabia

A US official informed Al Arabiya English on Wednesday that Bill Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was in Saudi Arabia this week to meet with authorities and reaffirm Washington’s commitment to intelligence collaboration.

The official reported that “Director Burns traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he spoke with intelligence counterparts and national officials on mutual interests.”

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Burns strengthened “our commitment to intelligence collaboration, especially in areas like counterterrorism,” the person noted.

A CIA representative refused to comment on the director’s itinerary when asked to confirm the trip.

Throughout the past two years, relations between the US and Saudi Arabia have been tumultuous, notably after President Biden’scampaign promise to treat the Gulf nation “as a pariah.”

The CIA director’s low-key travel follows the unexpected signing of an agreement between Riyadh and Tehran to resume diplomatic relations, reopen embassies, and exchange ambassadors within the next month, mediated by China.

Nonetheless, military and intelligence collaboration between the US and Saudi Arabia has remained strong. At a brand-new military testing facility in Riyadh, the US and Saudi Arabia just finished their first joint counter-drone exercise.

And Saudi Arabia recently agreed to “landmark deals” with Boeing for more than 120 aircraft totaling $37 billion, according to the US. According to the White House, the accord may be able to support over one million American employment in 44 states.