US defence chief to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel next week

US Defence Secretary James Mattis is seen at the Pentagon, April 13, 2017.
US Defence Secretary James Mattis is seen at the Pentagon, April 13, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday (April 14).

It said Mattis would "reaffirm key US military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilising activities and defeat extremist terror organisations" during the April 18-23 tour.

In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said.