Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Top US diplomat in Morocco for security talks, to meet UAE leader

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting Morocco on Tuesday to discuss North African security issues and meet the United Arab Emirates’ de facto leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. A major focus of the trip is the month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions against Moscow which have colluded to drive up global energy and food prices, spelling a threat for major grain importers. “We know this pain is keenly felt in the Middle East and North Africa, where most countries import at least half of their wheat,” State Department Acting Assistant Secretary Yael Lempert said before the trip. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/blinken-in-morocco-for-security-talks-to-meet-uae-leader/ar-AAVCfty) Blinken flew in late Monday from Israel where he had joined a gathering of top diplomats from the UAE, Morocco, Bahrain and Egypt that underlined the sea change in relations between Arab countries and the Jewish state. US officials said talks in Morocco, and in Algeria on Wednesday, would also deal with the Western Sahara dispute, development issues and security cooperation, including on fighting the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda in the Sahel.

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