Kerry in Saudi Arabia to discuss Iraq, Syria

Kerry in Saudi Arabia to discuss Iraq, Syria

PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jeddah on Friday, June 27, to discuss the crises in Iraq and Syria with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and meet Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba, who has close ties to the kingdom, Reuters reported.

The Obama administration on Thursday asked for $500 million from Congress to train and equip vetted members of Syria's opposition, the most significant move so far by the United States to support those fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia has been the most prominent backer of the Syrian rebels, and was very critical of Washington last year when it backed away from air strikes against Assad after a poison gas attack in Damascus.

The talks with the Saudis are part of diplomatic efforts by the United States to press regional leaders to tackle the threat by Islamist militants in both conflicts. On Thursday King Abdullah ordered "all measures" to be taken to protect Saudi Arabia against militants, Reuters says.

Washington has placed its hopes in forming a new, more inclusive government in Baghdad that would undermine the insurgency led by the militant Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has seized towns and cities this month.

In Baghdad on Monday, Kerry said Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki assured him the new parliament, elected two months ago, would meet a July 1 deadline to start forming a new government.

Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim, is a close ally of Sunni Saudi Arabia's main regional foe Iran, and is fighting to stay in power after coming under criticism over the ISIL-led advance.

Baghdad is racing against time as the insurgents consolidate their grip on predominantly Sunni provinces.

On Thursday, Kerry met with foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and United Arab Emirates to inform them of plans for air strikes against ISIL once a new government is formed.

The United States also wants these countries to do more to cut off the flow of funding from private donors to ISIL.

 Top stories
In a statement, the court acknowledged that Hamas contests its inclusion on the list, maintained since it was created in 2001.
“We’ve never seen so many journalists held captive — for ransom or other reasons — by nonstate actors,” Robert Mahoney said.
The raids and arrests "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy," a statement said.
“We are going beyond the banalities taught to us for 200 years. We are finally asking the right questions,” the president said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.