US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs Barbara Leaf to visit Middle East

She will visit Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, and hold talks on economic and security issues

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 23 October 2017. USA Healthcare Symposium & Showcase: Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center. Honorable Barbara A. Leaf, Ambassador of the United States Of America to the United Arab Emirates. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Shereena Al Nuwais. Section: National.
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US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs Barbara Leaf will visit Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar on an 11-day trip to the region.

Ms Leaf will meet officials in those countries, as well as “non-governmental and civil society representatives”, the US State Department announced on Monday.

Beginning in Egypt, where she will spend four days, Ms Leaf will “discuss a range of bilateral issues” and “shared interests in de-escalation and maintaining regional stability”, the State Department said.

On October 15, Ms Leaf will go to the UAE where regional security challenges will be discussed, as well as “the urgent need to secure a new, expanded truce agreement and broader political settlement in Yemen”.

Separately, Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council chairman Rashad Al Alimi met Saudi Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman on Monday to discuss the situation in Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition's support for the internationally recognised government.

A UN-brokered truce between the Houthis and the government in Yemen was not renewed last week after the rebels rejected a proposal by UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg, raising fears of a return to war.

The US, represented by special envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking, has strongly backed the truce, as well as the UAE's support for peace and a political solution in the country, which is now in its eighth year of conflict.

Ms Leaf will then go to Kuwait on October 18, where she will remain for one day, the State Department said.

“Regional developments, bilateral security co-operation and other key issues” will be on the agenda.

Finally, from October 20 to October 22, Ms Leaf will go to Qatar as the country prepares to host the World Cup next month. There, she will discuss “economic, security and political co-operation” on the relocation of Afghans fleeing from Taliban rule.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 8:20 AM