RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN
Published — Friday 1 November 2013
Last update 6 November 2013 3:26 am
US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Riyadh on Sunday for talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah amid growing regional tension and the killing of innocent people in Middle Eastern countries, most notably Syria.
Johann Schmonsees, spokesman of the US Embassy in Riyadh, confirmed Kerry's visit.
Schmonsees said that the two sides are still working on the itinerary. “Things are still not clear,” he told Arab News.
Kerry “will reaffirm the strategic nature of the US-Saudi relationship given the importance of the work taking place between the two countries on shared challenges,” US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said.
Kerry will “discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues” with King Abdullah,” said Psaki in a statement.
The visit to Riyadh by the top US diplomat follows a spate of unusually public complaints from Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, which reflects the Gulf’s frustration with the US over its perceived inaction on Syria, its diplomatic engagement with Iran and its coldness toward the military government in Egypt.
Kerry’s nine-day trip, scheduled between Nov. 3 to 11, will also take him to Poland, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco and the UAE.