Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran

Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at the King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Feb. 19, 2020. (AFP)
Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second right, and his wife Susan are met by a member of Saudi protocol as they arrive at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (AP)
Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2nd L) arrives at the King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital Riyadh on February 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 20 February 2020

Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran

Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran
  • Pompeo will hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan
  • After Riyadh, he will fly to Oman to meet the new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, on Friday

RIYADH: The US Secretary of State landed in Riyadh on Wednesday for talks with Saudi Arabia’s leaders focused on countering Iran.
Mike Pompeo’s visit is his first to the Kingdom since the US killed Iran’s powerful military commander Qassem Soleimani.
He will hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, State Department officials said.
"We'll spend a lot of time talking about the security issues with the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran in particular," Pompeo told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa before heading to Riyadh.
Pompeo said the United States was "prepared to talk anytime" to Iran but emphasised that the Iranian regime has "got to fundamentally change their behavior".
"The pressure campaign continues. It's not just an economic pressure campaign, its diplomatic pressures, isolation through diplomacy as well," he said.

US President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew from a nuclear accord with Iran and imposed sweeping sanctions aimed at reducing Tehran's regional clout.

Pompeo's three-day visit to Saudi Arabia comes after an increase in regional tensions following the drone strike last month in Baghdad that killed Soleimani. 
Iran responded with missile strikes on US forces in Iraq.

Speaking in Riyadh, Pompeo said that the US will not tolerate Iran’s attacks on American troops in Iraqi bases.

Earlier, he warned that the US would respond to Iranian attacks on its troops in Iraq.

“We are mindful that it cannot become ordinary course that the Iranians through their proxy forces in Iraq are putting the lives of Americans at risk,” he said.

He added that there “has to be accountability connected to those very serious attacks.”

Iran has also been blamed for a drone and missile strike on two Saudi Aramco facilities in September that temporarily shut down more than 5 percent of global oil supply.

Pompeo also said he would discuss a broad range of issues including the economic relationship between the two countries during his visit to the Kingdom. 

Last week, Saudi Arabia and the US celebrated the 75th anniversary of the USS Quincy meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz.

Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz met on board the USS Quincy in 1945 and the first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership shared by the two countries today.

After Riyadh, Pompeo will fly to Oman to meet the new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, on Friday.
Pompeo will offer condolences over the death of his predecessor Sultan Qaboos, who was the Arab world's longest-serving leader and served as a go-between for Iran and the United States.

*With AP


Saudi Arabia to reopen its embassy in Doha, says Saudi FM

Saudi Arabia to reopen its embassy in Doha, says Saudi FM
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia to reopen its embassy in Doha, says Saudi FM

Saudi Arabia to reopen its embassy in Doha, says Saudi FM
  • The Saudi minister repeated the need to reach a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian conflict
  • The Jordanian minister condemned the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will open its embassy in Doha within days, after completing the necessary procedures, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said in a joint press conference on Saturday with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Riyadh.
His comments follow the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signing of the Jan. 5 Al Ula agreement, which saw the reopening of the borders between Qatar and Saudi Arabia..
The Saudi minister repeated the need to reach a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian conflict.
From his side, Safadi said the relationship with Saudi Arabia was historical and strategic, adding that Jordan appreciated the Kingdom’s continued support to the country in facing economic challenges.
The minister also condemned the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack Saudi Arabia, and he said he rejected Iran's interference in the region’s affairs.
He added that Jordan agreed with Saudi Arabia in promoting joint action to face current challenges.
“We are working to develop our relationship with the GCC on the security, political and economic levels,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi said.
He added that peace was an Arab strategic choice, and said that Jordan looked forward to working with the new US administration.