[Oan- follow – up]
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis begins next Tuesday Middle Eastern tour that includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti looking through a number of security and regional issues and efforts to defeat terrorist groups.
The Pentagon said in a statement on Friday that Matisse would arrive in the Saudi capital Riyadh next Tuesday at the start of his regional tour, where he will meet senior Saudi officials to strengthen the US commitment to security partnership with the kingdom.
The next day, Matisse arrives in Egypt to discuss regional security issues with officials in Cairo and participates in a ceremony to place a wreath on the tomb of the unknown Egyptian soldier.
Matisse arrives in Israel the following day, April 20, to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman.
On the next stop, the US minister will arrive in Qatar on Saturday, April 22, for talks with officials in Doha aimed at strengthening regional security.
At the end of the tour, Matisse will visit Djibouti to meet with President Ismail Omar Jelle to discuss ways to advance common commitment to promote regional stability.
The Pentagon said the Matisse tour was aimed at reasserting key US alliances, working with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa and discussing cooperation efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat terrorist organizations.