Mike Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for Iran crisis talks

 

Mike Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for Iran crisis talks
Mike Pompeo speaks to the media before boarding a plane to Saudi Arabia.

He will be meeting King Salman and the crown prince before flying to the UAE.

By AFP

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Published: Mon 24 Jun 2019, 9:02 AM

Last updated: Wed 19 Feb 2020, 2:41 PM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Monday in Saudi Arabia for talks on coordinating with the close ally amid mounting tensions with Iran.
Pompeo is expected to meet in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, before flying for talks in the United Arab Emirates, US officials said.
Both Saudi and Emirati leaders advocate a tough US approach against Iran, which last week shot down an unmanned US drone.  
US to impose major sanctions against Iran on June 24
Pompeo, speaking to reporters as he left Washington, called Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents".
"We'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition," Pompeo said.
He said the United States sought a coalition "not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and that is prepared to push back against the world's largest state sponsor of terror".  
Saudi, UAE, UK, US express concern over Iran's destabilising activity
His trip comes despite growing controversy inside the United States over the Trump administration's cosy relationship with Mohammed bin Salman after US-based dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.
Pompeo used rare emergency powers, citing Iran as a threat, to authorise $8.1 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, despite concerns in the US Congress that the arms will go to kill civilians in the devastating war in Yemen.
Pompeo added the Middle East stops on his way to a previously scheduled visit to India. 


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