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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora