Blinken plans to visit Saudi Arabia to take part in World Economic Forum, Axios reports

FILE PHOTO: G7 foreign ministers' meeting on the Italian island of Capri

(Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to visit Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to take part in the World Economic Forum in Riyadh starting on April 28, Axios reported, citing two unidentified U.S. officials and one Arab official.

Blinken is expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other regional leaders while in Saudi Arabia, Axios reported.

The State Department was not immediately available for comment.

Last month, Blinken said the United States and Saudi Arabia have made "good progress" in talks on normalizing ties between the kingdom and Israel.

Talks on normalization had been put on ice in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian Hamas fighters and Israel's subsequent assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Blinken's Saudi visit will follow his trip to China that begins on Wednesday in Shanghai, where he will meet with business leaders. He then heads to Beijing on Friday for talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and a likely meeting with President Xi Jinping.

Blinken's trip to China comes as U.S.-China ties are on a steady footing but with a daunting array of unresolved issues threatening to tip the world’s two largest economies toward confrontation.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by Caitlin Webber and Bill Berkrot)