U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Secretary Kerry travels to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on June 25, 2013. 

Highlights from Secretary Kerry’s first international trip, including Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Doha. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

‘Qahwa’ in Saudi Arabia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry drinks coffee with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, during a welcoming ceremony on his arrival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 3, 2013. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Emily Abraham serves as Information Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

As Secretary Kerry landed in Riyadh to begin the Gulf leg of his journey, he was invited by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal to enjoy a cup of Saudi coffee in a traditional welcoming ceremony, a first stop often made even before departing the airport terminal in the Kingdom.

Taking time to sip hot cardamom-infused qahwa from a small cup accompanied by fresh dates is the standard welcome provided by any host in the Kingdom, and the ceremony is steeped in etiquette, whether the cup is offered by the youngest son pouring rounds for guests in private homes or by waiters circling tables at a grand banquet hall.

It was only the first of many ceremonial coffees offered during a trip filled with bilateral meetings on a broad range of shared concerns, as Secretary Kerry… more »

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 3, 2013.

Travel to Europe and the Middle East: February 24-March 6

Photo Gallery | Trip Page

From February 24 to March 6, Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Follow his trip on www.state.gov.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Travel to Europe and the Middle East

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 19, 2013


From February 24 to March 6, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. MORE

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on March 30, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on March 30, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Secretary Clinton in Saudi Arabia

From left to right: United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad Al-Sabah, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Hamad bin Jassim, Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al-Thani, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, pose for a group photo before a U.S.- Gulf Cooperation Council forum at the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 31, 2012. [AP Photo]

Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 30-31, 2012. While in Riyadh, she met with King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. During their meeting, King Abdullah and Secretary Clinton discussed the situation in Iran and upcoming plans for the P-5+1 meetings with the Iranians. They talked about Syria in advance of the second meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People, which is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey on April 1, 2012. They also discussed Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, global oil supplies, and… more »

Public Schedule for March 31, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON


Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Istanbul, Turkey through April 1. The Secretary is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Feltman, Assistant Secretary Shapiro, Director Sullivan, VADM Harry B. Harris, Jr., CJCS, Puneet Talwar, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director, NSS. Please click here for more information.

9:20 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Embassy Riyadh staff and their families, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

10:00 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING MEETING)

12:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends the Gulf Cooperation Council-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum Ministerial, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR REMARKS)

2:40 p.m. LOCAL 
Secretary Clinton attends the Gulf Cooperation Council-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum Luncheon, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

3:50 p.m. LOCAL 
Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with GCC Chairman and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)