April 14, 2017 / 4:34 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. defense chief to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel next week

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

It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom, editing by G Crosse)

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