(AP) Seeking to bridge multiple policy rifts with Saudi Arabia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is praising the kingdom's role as "the senior player" in Middle East security. He says cementing the U.S.-Saudi partnership on issues like Syria, Egypt and Iran are critical to regional stability.
Speaking to employees at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh on Monday, Kerry said that Saudi Arabia had assumed the Arab leadership mantle from Egypt, which is embroiled in political uncertainty. He said he was visiting for talks with Saudi Arabia's king and foreign minister to ensure that U.S.-Saudi ties are "on track, moving forward and doing the things that we need to accomplish."
Saudi officials have expressed unhappiness with Washington's actions in Syria, its tentative warming toward Iran and stance on Egypt's political turmoil.