JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA: US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to secure its support ahead of a potential showdown with Russia at talks on the Syrian conflict.
After his Saudi meetings, Kerry was due in Vienna which this week will host the international contact groups engaged in efforts to halt fighting in Syria and Libya.
Riyadh is the key backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and Kerry is keen to keep the opposition on board with a shaky ceasefire in force since February.
Saudi allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are also major supporters of the administration in eastern Libya which is withholding its support from a UN-backed unity government in Tripoli.
Kerry met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef at the royal court in a palace in Jeddah.
“I want to thank you for the many things that Saudi Arabia is working on with us to great effect,” he told King Salman as the pair sat down, before reporters were ushered out.