U.S. Secretary of State Kerry in Saudi Arabia to mend strained ties
The United States appears to be on a damage control mission to ease tensions with its allies in the Middle East.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia in an effort to repair ties between the two countries.
The U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, have been at odds over a number of issues, including the civil war in Syria and relations with Iran.
Riyadh is thought to be concerned proposed international peace talks could eventually lead to a pro-Iran government being put in place in Damascus.
The Saudis are also unhappy with what they see as Washington's softening stance over Iran's nuclear programs.
A day earlier, Kerry sought to smooth ties with Egypt, calling the country a "vital partner" for Washington.
He said their relations should not be defined by the recent suspension of some military assistance.
"Let me make it clear here today: President Obama and the American people support the people of Egypt. We believe this is a vital relationship."
In his first visit to Egypt since the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi,Kerry said the aid suspension does not represent a punishmentadding it is a small issue compared to the many interests the nations share.
Washington said last month that it would suspend a large part of military and financial aid to Egypt,over the ousting of Morsi and the military-backed interim government's crackdown on his supporters.
Kerry did, however, note signs that Egypt was edging toward democracy and he called on the interim government to hold free and fair elections next year.
His visit came a day ahead of Morsi's high-profile trial.
Egypt's first democratically-elected president is charged with inciting the killing of protesters during clashes in Cairo last December.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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