US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shaking hands with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Jeddah, August 25, 2016. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State John Kerry has traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss the Riyadh regime’s deadly war on Yemen as well as its involvement in the years-long Syria conflict, according a senior US official.
The top US diplomat arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Wednesday and met with the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Kerry also met Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and was slated to meet with King Salman and officials from some other Persian Gulf Arab nations during his two-day visit.
Presenting Washington’s proposals on ending the Saudi-led air and ground aggression against Yemen was high on Kerry’s agenda, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing a senior American official.
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammad Bin Salman Al-Saud (R), Defence Minister Muhammad bin Nayef (2R) and Saudi officials upon his arrival in Jeddah, on August 24, 2016. (AFP photo)
Saudi monarchs and their allies in Washington are faced with growing pressure from the international community to stop the military campaign which, according to local sources, has killed about 10,000 people, most of them civilians, since it began in March 2015.
The kingdom launched the war in an attempt to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had stepped down as Yemen’s president but is now seeking to grab power by force.
Saudi Arabia has purchased billions of dollars worth of American warplanes and other US-made weaponry such as cluster bombs, which it is actively using to attack various Yemeni cities.
The Saudi-led coalition has also received training, aerial refueling support and intelligence from the Pentagon.
The US reiterated its support for the Arab state in November last year, when it approved a $1.29 billion rearming program for Riyadh.
Syria peace talks
According to the American official, Kerry was also expected to fill in Arab leaders on negotiations with Russia over a possible military cooperation against the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group in Syria.
Russia has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh positions across Syria since September last year upon a request from Damascus.
The US and some of its allies have also been striking alleged Daesh positions in Syria since 2014.
Saudi Arabia and some other Arab monarchies have been openly supporting militant groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, ever since the conflict broke out in March 2011.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.