U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Arrives in Saudi Arabia; First Top Trump Administration Official to Visit Kingdom

U.S defense Jim Mattis arrived in Saudi Arabia today, his first stop on a tour through the Middle East that will “focus on the fight against Islamic State and articulating President Donald Trump’s policy toward Syria,” Reuters reports.

Secretary Mattis visited Saudi Arabia first on a trip to the region. After visiting Saudi Arabia, Mattis will visit Egypt, Qatar and Israel.

Speaking to reporters while on route to Riyadh, Mattis called for the crisis in Saudi Arabia’s neighbor, Yemen, to go before a United Nations-brokered negotiating team in order to “politically” resolve the country’s raging civil war, according to the Voice of America.

Secretary Mattis met with Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman in Washington last month, after the prince’s visit with President Trump at the White House.