Kerry-asks-Saudis-for-support-on-Syrian-cease-fire. JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Saudi Arabia’s leaders Sunday for support in building “cessation of hostilities” between Syria’s government forces and rebels ahead of talks with other countries this week.
Kerry met with Saudi King Salman and other officials to discuss developments in Syria, Yemen and Libya, the State Department said.
The king and Kerry discussed “aspects of cooperation between the two countries and developments in the region and efforts in that regards,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia back rebels fighting to remove President Bashar al-Assad, who has military support from Russia and Iran.
Earlier this month, Kerry said the Syrian government and a consolidated group of rebels are closer to reaching an agreement to end hostilities. Kerry met with U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura in Geneva, where talks between warring factions are ongoing
Kerry has a busy travel schedule.
He plans to travel Monday to Vienna where he and Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will co-host a ministers’ meeting on security and support for Libya’s new government.
On Tuesday, the 17-nation Syria Support Group will meet in the city to discuss the stalled talks, plus difficulty in keeping the February cease-fire and the United Nation’s troubled efforts in delivering humanitarian aid.
Kerry also will meet with Russia and France to help stabilize Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Kerry then will attend a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels and then travel to Myanmar (formerly Burma) to support the country’s new elected government.
The following week, May 22-25, he will join President Barack Obama in Vietnam.
By Allen Cone