News / Middle East

    Kerry Praises Saudi Arabia's Stature on Visit to Ease Concerns on Syria, Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left,  is escorted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, as Kerry arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 3, 2013.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is escorted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, as Kerry arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 3, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Saudi Arabia as the "senior player" in the Arab world while on a visit to soothe diplomatic ties frayed by differences over U.S. policy on Syria and Iran.

    Kerry told staff Monday at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh before meeting with Saudi King Abdullah that the two nations have important things to discuss to ensure their relationship is "on track."

    He also reiterated the U.S. position that Iran will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

    His one-day visit included talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

    Saudi Arabia, which backs Sunni Muslim-led rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has voiced concern that proposed Syrian peace talks backed by Washington could leave an Iranian-backed government in power in Damascus. Saudi leaders are also known to be upset over recent U.S. overtures toward Saudi Arabia's strategic rival, Iran.

    To underscore those concerns, Saudi Arabia last month rejected a seat on the U.N. Security Council after the United States had expressed its support for the Saudis to sit on the council.

    Kerry said Sunday during a brief stop in Egypt that the Obama administration understands the security concerns of Sunni nations about Shi'ite Iran and said Washington is committed to its "major defensive relationships" in the Middle East.

    Kerry also had a six-hour visit to Cairo, during which he reassured Egypt's army-backed government that Washington remains a committed "friend and partner," despite suspending some military aid to Egypt.

    The Obama administration last month suspended delivery of Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets after criticizing the Egyptian military for removing the country's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and replacing him with an interim government.

    The aid suspension prompted Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy to say U.S.-Egyptian relations were in turmoil. However, on Sunday, while speaking alongside Kerry, Fahmy said he had received "indications" that relations are returning to normal.

    Kerry's other stops include Israel and the West Bank for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He also is due to visit Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco and Poland.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ismail ALjazaeri
    November 04, 2013 10:39 PM
    Like a capricious spoiled baby, Saudi regime need to hear from their patrons that they the loved one, most beautiful, and closest allies. I guess after this meeting, the prince is ecstatic and reassured.
    LOL

    by: Ariely Shein from: Jerusalem
    November 04, 2013 7:50 AM
    "True friends stab you in the front." -Oscar Wilde
    This famous sentence was said in English and not Russian.

    Putin shows in Syria that Russia supports their allies in the
    most difficult days.
    Obama shows that under his administration USA allies cannot predict USA behavior almost on any event.

    Putting acts a lot and don’t talk much.
    Obama talks a lot and don’t act much.

    " USA will be there for the defense of our friends" said by Kerry.
    One way to translate it:
    USA will do nothing to stop Iran of getting the NUKS.
    (Remember North Korea-USA agreement not to develop NUKS followed by USA lift of sactions)
    Question:
    After Iran will get NUKS who will master the ME- USA or Iran?

    USA allies should remember and follow the advice given by one of USA founding fathers:
    "God helps them that help themselves"
    Benjamin Franklin

    by: mysterion from: MilkyWay
    November 04, 2013 6:38 AM
    You can be sure that when the US says 'you are a good ally,' what they mean is - 'if you did not have oil we'd be droning your a** all day and all night'.

    I think Kerry has not been informed that the Wahabist form of Islam is what drive the 9/11 attackers - Oh, and where did the majority of the 9/11 attackers hail from?

    But, yes, Saudi, you are good friends of the US..................

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.