US defense chief to visit Saudi, Qatar next week

Jim Mattis will “reaffirm key US military alliances” during the trip



US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

It said Mattis would “reaffirm key U.S. military alliances,” and “discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilising activities and defeat extremist terror organisations” during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said.

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