ABU DHABI, 10th March 2016 (WAM) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Saudi Arabia and France this week for discussions with top Saudi and European officials about conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya and other regional security issues.

The U.S. State Department, on its website, says Kerry will leave late Thursday for the Saudi city of Hafar al-Batin on its northeastern border with Iraq and Kuwait, where 20 Muslim countries from the Middle East, Africa and Asia just concluded a three-week counterterrorism military exercise.

From there, Kerry will travel to Paris for talks on Sunday with the new French foreign minister as well as his counterparts from Britain, Germany and Italy and the EU foreign policy chief.

WAM/MMYS