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Trump critic McCain meets Saudi king

Updated Feb 22, 2017 10:33am


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Saudi King Salman (right) meeting Senator John McCain.—AFP
Saudi King Salman (right) meeting Senator John McCain.—AFP

RIYADH: Influential American Senator John McCain, a critic of President Donald Trump, held talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday, official media said.

McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, arrived in Riyadh after talks on Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Saudi Press Agency gave no details of McCain’s meeting at Salman’s office, except to say that the friendly ties between their two countries were discussed.

McCain’s visit comes two days before Syria’s government and the opposition gather in Geneva on Thursday for a new round of United Nations-brokered talks aimed at ending six years of fighting.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have provided military and financial aid to rebels fighting Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

All are also members of a US-led coalition battling the militant Islamic State group there.

After his talks in Syria, the Republican senator from Arizona said on his website that Erdogan “described a proposal to establish safe zones in Syria and retake Raqa that should receive serious consideration by the United States”. He was referring to the IS base in Raqa, Syria.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has expressed optimism that the Trump presidency will be more engaged in the region, particularly in containing Iran which backs the Assad regime and rebels in Yemen.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2017

Comments (6) Closed

Alba Feb 22, 2017 02:21pm

McCain is certainly America's elder statesman. He is a powerful friend to have. Saudi Arabia has much more influence in the halls of Congress than Pakistan.

Kaz Feb 22, 2017 03:26pm

Awwww two brothers together bless

Houlbelat Feb 22, 2017 04:25pm

The whole world must unite to fight all limbs and center of IS menace.

Iftikhar Husain Feb 22, 2017 06:38pm

It seems everybody is trying to change the map o ME by doing so the whole area will be in turmoil this will also spill over to European countries that we are seeing now,

Mike London Feb 22, 2017 06:49pm

It is time to put term limits on the congress members like the US president. No one should be allowed to be a member for life.

Kabir Feb 22, 2017 08:26pm

Meeting of two brothers all Muslim countries should learn from our Saudi Brothers and respect the US as they do