Pompeo thanks Saudi crown prince for supporting UN Yemen envoy Griffiths during Middle East tour

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen during a news conference with Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah (not pictured) in Kuwait City. (Reuters)
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Mike Pompeo and Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah exchange a signed document in Kuwait City. (AP)
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Mike Pompeo and Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah are seen during a news conference in Kuwait City. (AP)
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Mike Pompeo (L) and Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah give a joint press conference in Kuwait City. (AFP)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Pompeo thanks Saudi crown prince for supporting UN Yemen envoy Griffiths during Middle East tour

  • Said he would discuss "strategic dialogue" and the need to combat "the threat posed by Iran"
  • Stops include Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon

LONDON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths during his stop in Kuwait on a Middle East tour.

Speaking on Wednesday in Kuwait City, Pompeo said he and the crown prince both agreed on the need for both parties in the Yemeni conflict to commit to the regulations of the Sweden agreement of 2018.

Pompeo is visiting the region to bolster a united front against Iran, kicking off his regional trip in Kuwait where he met Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

Pompeo told reporters on the flight from the US that he would discuss "strategic dialogue" and the need to combat "the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran" with leaders in the region.

After Kuwait Pompeo will fly to Israel before heading to Lebanon.

Pompeo is also pushing for a greater role for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a US-sponsored Arab NATO aimed at uniting Washington's Arab allies against Tehran.

"We all have the same set of threats, threats from Al-Qaeda, from Daesh, threats from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

Pompeo expressed hope that a regional rift between Gulf states and Qatar would abate, saying that resolving the issue would be in the region's best interests.

The foreign minister of Kuwait said he had also discussed with Pompeo the Gulf dispute, as well as the ongoing situations in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah said: "We hope the plan will take into account the situation in the region and all the relevant parties.

"We believe the strong relationship between the United States and several countries will lead to an acceptable resolution to all parties and to reaching a political solution that has been long waited for."

Pompeo said his talks on Wednesday also focused on enhancing defence and cybersecurity cooperation with Kuwait.

(With Agencies)


Moroccans protest prison sentences of anti-poverty activists

Updated 21 April 2019
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Moroccans protest prison sentences of anti-poverty activists

  • Security forces kept watch as participants sang, “The people want the detainees released” and “Long live Rif.”

RABAT: Thousands of demonstrators in Morocco are condemning prison sentences given to the leader of the Hirak Rif anti-poverty movement and dozens of other activists.
The demonstration brought one of the main avenues of the Moroccan capital, Rabat, to a standstill on Sunday. Security forces kept watch as participants sang, “The people want the detainees released” and “Long live Rif.”
Hirak leader Nasser Zefzafi was sentenced to the maximum prison term of 20 years for threatening state security. An appeals court upheld his sentence and those of other activists this month.
Rif is the struggling region in northern Morocco where the Hirak movement was born in 2016. The movement demands development and job creation for the region.
Families, human rights organizations and left-wing parties are demanding the imprisoned activists’ immediate release.