RIYADH: Mike Pompeo is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday.
The US secretary of state embarked on a regional tour earlier this week, which included Turkey, Israel the UAE and Qatar, where he attended peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators in Doha.
Saudi Arabia is currently hosting the two-day 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh, which is being held virtually for the first time, and chaired by King Salman.
Among the top priorities on his agenda for the visit, most likely his last as secretary of state ahead of a handover to the next president Joe Bidden, is maintaining pressure on Iran.
“Our policies don’t change. Our duty doesn’t change. My responsibilities don’t change,” Pompeo said. “I still have an obligation — every hour, every minute — to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that. We’ll do that to the very last minute.”
Pompeo said Donald Trump’s Middle East strategy had focused on Iran as “the central threat inside the region” and maintained a maximum pressure campaign that curbed Iran’s ability to support militias in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
“It’ll be our policy until our time is complete,” he added.
Thanks to Crown Prince @MohamedbinZayed for his hospitality. With the Abraham Accords, the U.S.-UAE Strategic Dialogue, and the upcoming opportunity to showcase American innovation at the @expo2020dubai, our journey to advance peace and prosperity will continue to succeed. pic.twitter.com/ONwOevak9Z
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 21, 2020
Pompeo traveled to the Kingdom from the UAE, where he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss the emirates’ decision to normalize ties with Israel.
They also discussed security cooperation and countering Iran’s malign influence in the region, as well as that of China,” the US State Department said.
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