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John Kerry in Saudi Arabia for talks on Syria war

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 6:49 IST

US Secretary of State John Kerry has travelled to Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman expected to focus on the four-year-old conflict in Syria. Kerry flew in to Riyadh from Amman yesterday where he held separate talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Palestinian-Israeli unrest.

He first went into talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir before heading out to Dhiraya Farm, the king's country residence. US diplomats said the evening talks between Kerry and the Saudi monarch would focus on the Syria war.

Washington and Riyadh are part of a US-led coalition that last year launched an air campaign targeting the Islamic State jihadist group which controls swathes of territory in Syria and neighbouring Iraq. The Saudi talks follow a meeting Friday in Vienna between Kerry and the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia on ways to end the Syria conflict.

But the Vienna talks failed to make any breakthrough and Kerry said at the time he hoped to reconvene another "broader" meeting on Syria as early as October 30.

Russia launched its own aerial campaign on September 30 in response to a request from Damascus. Washington, Riyadh and Ankara back groups fighting the regime of Russia ally President Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow says it is targeting IS and other "terrorists" in Syria.

First published: 26 October 2015, 1:41 IST