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Pentagon Chief to Start Regional Tour in Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Reuters photo

Washington- US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is heading to the Middle East next week on a tour that will take him to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Mattis is making the trip to “reaffirm key US military alliances, to engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and to discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations,” the Pentagon said in a statement posted on its website.

Mattis will begin his trip next Tuesday “in Saudi Arabia, where he will have a series of meetings with key international counterparts to strengthen commitments to the US-Saudi security partnership,” the statement added.