U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Saudi Arabia as a "very, very important" ally before he met with Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on November 4.
Seeking to bridge differences with Saudi Arabia, Kerry praised the kingdom's role as "the senior player" in Middle East security.
Kerry made the remarks to U.S. Embassy workers in Riyadh during his tour of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.
He said it was critical for Washington and Riyadh to work together on Middle East issues.
Saudi officials are unhappy with Washington's lack of action in Syria, its tentative warming toward Iran, its stance on Egypt's political turmoil, and differences on the Palestinian issue.
Kerry visited Egypt on November 3 on the first leg of his 11-day tour, which also includes visits to Poland, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, and Morocco.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and the BBC