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Jake Sullivan forced to reschedule Saudi Arabia trip after cracked rib

National security adviser Jake Sullivan was forced to reschedule a high-stakes trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip after suffering a cracked rib, the White House announced Wednesday.

“This was a minor accident of his own,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “It was not caused by anybody. It was not the result of a nefarious act.”

Jake Sullivan has refrained from pumping up public expectations for a mega deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. AP

Sullivan will seek to reschedule his trip as quickly as possible, Kirby added.

The 47-year-old adviser had his sights set on discussing the prospect of Saudi Arabia normalizing relations with Israel, Axios reported.

The Biden administration had been eyeing a landmark agreement between Riyadh and Jerusalem ahead of the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas, which killed an estimated 1,200 people — including 33 Americans.

Sullivan’s trip would have come on the heels of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Jeddah last month, during which he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and “underscored the importance of urgently addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza,” per the State Department.

As part of a potential deal, the Biden administration is contemplating assisting Saudi Arabia’s development of a civilian nuclear program while Riyadh would demand Israel eventually commit the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to Axios.

Prior to the Oct. 7 attack, rumors had also swirled that the White House was mulling some sort of mutual defense treaty with the Saudis, similar to the US arrangement with Japan and South Korea.

Over recent years, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to mend fences with his neighbors. Getty Images

Following the Hamas attack, the mega-deal had widely been thought to be on ice, only for President Biden to suggest there’s still hope for a breakthrough.

“I won’t go into detail now. But look, I’ve been working with the Saudis. … They are prepared to fully recognize Israel,” Biden, 81, claimed during his star-studded fundraiser in New York March 28.

“There has to be a post-Gaza plan here, and there has to be a train to a two-state solution.”

Biden has repeatedly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over recent weeks and sought to ramp up public pressure on him to be more conscientious of the plight of Palestinian civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded optimistic about a deal with Saudi Arabia prior to the Oct. 7 attack. Getty Images

Earlier this week, top US and Israeli officials met virtually to hash out differences over Netanyahu’s objective to send troops into the refugee-dense southern Gazan city of Rafah.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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