US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Saudi Arabia and UAE for Iran crisis talks
He hopes to build a global coalition extending past the GCC into Europe and Asia
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the wake of recent escalation in tension with Iran.
In a video he tweeted out before leaving the US, Pompeo noted that the purpose of the trip was "to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition," which he hopes will extend past the Gulf region through Europe and Asia.
He called the two countries "great allies" in opposing the challenge that Iran presents.
I’m heading out today. Our first stops will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & the UAE, two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents, and 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. pic.twitter.com/txu0pA2xr4— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 24, 2019
According to a press release by the State Department, Pompeo will meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah to discuss "ways to counter the malign Iranian influence in the region", and will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zated Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi to discuss the need to support maritime security.
This follows weeks of tension as multiple attacks, including several on oil infrastructure in the GCC, led to US President Donald Trump announcing that "major" sanctions against in Iran would be added.
"We welcome defusion of tensions in the region. We do not want rise of tensions," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi, according to state news agency ISNA.
On 19 June, Pompeo tweeted that President Trump "does not want war with Iran. We will continue to communicate this message, while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region."