Blinken meets with ministers of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Thursday with members of the global coalition against ISIS during his visit to Riyadh.

During the session, Blinken stressed on the importance of repatriation in reducing the risks of ISIS resurgence.

“Repatriation is critical to reducing the populations of both displaced persons camp like Al Hol (in Syria) and detention centers holding nearly 10,000 ISIS fighters, 2,000 of whom are from countries other than Syria and Iraq,” he said.

“Failure to repatriate foreign terrorist fighters risks the possibility that they could again take up arms and attempt to restore ISIS’s so-called caliphate, and terrorize communities that we are working to stabilize and rebuild, and potentially threaten our homelands,” he added.

The top U.S. diplomat arrived in Saudi Arabia late on Tuesday for a much anticipated visit amid frayed ties due to deepening disagreements on everything from Iran policy to regional security issues, oil prices and human rights.

Washington has struggled to steady the relationship with Riyadh, where the de facto ruler Prince Mohammed has dominated the decision-making, and as the traditional oil-for-security alliance crumbled under the emergence of the United States as a major oil producer.

Blinken’s visit came days after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia pledged to deepen oil output cuts on top of a broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply, as it seeks to boost flagging oil prices despite opposition from the U.S. administration.