U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to take part in the inaugural Coordination Council meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The Secretary will also meet with various Saudi leaders to discuss the conflict in Yemen, the ongoing Gulf dispute, Iran, and a number of other important regional and bilateral issues, according to a news release by the State Department.
The inaugural Coordination Council meeting comes amid a warming of relations between Riyadh and Baghdad. The gathering is seen as part of U.S. efforts to reduce Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq by encouraging Baghdad to align more closely with Riyadh.
“Iran is always a huge concern of ours, not just in Iraq, but throughout the region,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert during a briefing Thursday.
Secretary Tillerson will then travel to Doha, where he will meet with Qatari leaders and U.S. military officials to discuss joint counterterrorism efforts, the ongoing Gulf dispute, and other regional and bilateral issues, including Iran and Iraq. He will then travel to Qatar, Pakistan, India, and Switzerland.