US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Monday with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as he sought to coordinate with allies over soaring tensions with Iran.
On a day trip scheduled after Iran shot down a US drone, Pompeo flew into the Red Sea city of Jeddah and met with King Salman at his palace.
"You are a dear friend," the king told Pompeo as he shook hands with the top US diplomat and his aides.
Pompeo is later due to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, before flying for talks in the United Arab Emirates, US officials said.
Pompeo, speaking to reporters as he left Washington, called Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents".
"We'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition," Pompeo said.
He said the United States sought a coalition "not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and that is prepared to push back against the world's largest state sponsor of terror".
Source: National News Agency