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US commerce secretary in Gulf ahead of Obama visit

March 10, 2014 • Business


David C. Chavern, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce speak during an interview with The Associated Press after a business conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce is in the Gulf meeting with officials in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar with a message that closer economic cooperation with Washington can be a bridge for security.(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Secretary of Commerce is in the Middle East where she said Sunday she will tell officials from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar that closer economic cooperation with Washington is a way to build deeper security ties with the United States.

Penny Pritzker’s visit comes just weeks before President Barack Obama is scheduled to fly to Saudi Arabia to meet King Abdullah in an effort to patch over strained relations due to U.S. policy on Iran and Syria. It will be Obama’s first visit to Saudi Arabia since 2009.

For Pritzker, it is her first trip outside of North America as Secretary of Commerce. Pritzker, a Chicago billionaire and business Login to read more

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