US Defense Secretary Mattis To Visit Middle East, Africa

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will embark April 17 on his fourth trip since becoming secretary. Mattis will reaffirm key U.S. military alliances, engage with strategic partners in the Middle East and Africa, and discuss cooperative efforts to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations, according to a Defense Department news release.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt

Mattis will begin his trip April 18 with a stop in Saudi Arabia, where he will have a series of meetings with key international counterparts to strengthen commitments to the U.S.-Saudi security partnership.

On April 19, the secretary travels to Egypt to discuss regional security issues and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Unknown Soldier Memorial in honor of fallen Egyptian soldiers.

Israel, Qatar, Djibouti

On April 20, Mattis arrives in Israel to meet with President Reuben Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Additionally, the secretary will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

On April 22, the secretary arrives in Qatar to meet with key international leadership and continue efforts to strengthen regional security architectures.

On April 23, Mattis will travel to Djibouti to meet with President Ismail Omar Guelleh to further the U.S-Djibouti commitment to promoting regional stability.

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