US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here late Sunday to hold wide-ranging talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on the new challenges facing the region and the world at large.
“Kerry will meet with King Abdullah to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional issues,” said Johann Schmonsees, a spokesman of the US Embassy.
Riyadh is the second stop of Kerry’s 10-day trip to the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Kerry had visited Cairo prior to coming to the Kingdom.
Kerry’s visit to Riyadh follows talks with Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal last month.
Schmonsees said Kerry would reaffirm the strategic nature of the US-Saudi relationship given the importance of work between our two countries on shared challenges.
King Abdullah and Kerry will discuss regional issues like Syria, Egypt and Iran, said one source.
The source said that Prince Saud and Kerry would address a press conference on Monday in which they will spell out their positions on key bilateral and regional issues.
Kerry’s visit to Riyadh is also the first by a top US official after Saudi Arabia turned down a two-year seat at the UN Security Council citing the body’s “double standard” and its inaction over the conflict in Syria.
The visit of Kerry to Arab countries and Israel coincides with Israeli government announcing tenders Sunday to build 1,859 colony homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The announcement came as Kerry sought Sunday to calm fears that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were faltering, saying he remained hopeful there would be progress in the coming months.

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