Kerry in Riyadh as Saudi-Iran tensions simmer

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RIYADH: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday hoping for an easing of tensions between the Sunni power and its predominantly Shiite rival Iran. Kerry was to attend a joint meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and other foreign ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. He will also hold talks with King Salman and his powerful son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the defense minister. Saudi Arabia and some of its allies cut diplomatic ties with Iran this month after protesters there burned Riyadh’s embassy in Tehran and a consulate in the second city of Mashhad. The violence against Riyadh’s missions occurred after the kingdom executed dissident Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a driving force behind anti-government protests.

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