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Kerry Heads for Riyadh to Soothe Saudi-US Tensions

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Oct. 22, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Oct. 22, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will launch a nine-day trip focused mainly on the Middle East and North Africa by traveling to Riyadh for talks on Sunday with King Abdullah amid recent tensions with the Gulf Kingdom.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday that Kerry "will reaffirm the strategic nature of the U.S.-Saudi relationship given the importance of the work between our two countries on shared challenges."

Kerry's trip from November 3 to 11 will also take him to Israel, Bethlehem, Amman, Algeria, Morocco and Poland.

In Jerusalem and Bethlehem, he will meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials to discuss ongoing final status negotiations as well as other regional issues of mutual concern. He will also discuss issues related to Iran with Israeli officials.

Syria and other regional issues are expected to be on the table in Jordan.

In Warsaw, Kerry will meet with senior Polish officials to discuss Washington's close partnership with Poland across a range of global issues, as well as Poland’s contributions on promoting democracy and enhancing NATO capabilities.