For the first time since Biden's election, US delegation to travel to Middle East

The delegation is expected to visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan

An American delegation led by Brett McGurk, coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, will make its first visit to the Middle East in the coming days, sources confirmed to The National on Wednesday.

"A senior inter-agency delegation will be travelling over the coming week to discuss a number of important matters related to US national security and ongoing efforts towards a de-escalation of tension in the Middle East region," an American official said.  

A regional diplomatic source in Washington told The National that the delegation will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the status of the current talks with Iran. Reuters reported that the delegation's itinerary includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.    

Besides McGurk, State Department counsellor Derek Chollett and assistant secretary for Near East affairs Joey Hood are expected to be part of the delegation. The head of the Middle East desk at the Pentagon, Dana Stroul, will also go on the trip, Bloomberg reported. It will be the highest-level delegation from the administration of President Joe Biden to visit the region since he took office on January 20.   

In the UAE, American officials are expected to discuss the recent decision to proceed with the sale of $23 billion worth of military hardware to the UAE including 50 F-35 fighters and 18 military drones, according to Reuters.