Defense Chief to Visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir/File Photo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary James Norman (Jim) Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

It said Mattis would “reaffirm key U.S. military alliances,” and “discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations” during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the statement said.