Mattis Departs for 5-Day Middle East Trip
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis departed today on a five-day trip to reaffirm the enduring U.S. commitment to partnerships in the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia, Defense Department officials said.
Mattis will begin his engagements with a visit to Egypt tomorrow, where he will meet with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Defense Minister Gen. Sedki Sobhi.
He will then travel to Jordan, where, on Dec 3, he will participate in the Aqaba Process, a meeting on countering violent extremism in West Africa, hosted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Attendees will also include officials from France, the U.K., and several Western African nations, as well as representatives from the African Union, the European Union, NATO and the U.N.
The defense secretary will then travel to Pakistan, Dec. 4, where he is planning to meet with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Bajwa. He will conclude his trip with a visit to Kuwait on Dec. 5, where he will meet with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and other Kuwaiti leaders.