Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Neom on Sunday to discuss bilateral relations, areas of cooperation and ways to enhance them. They also discussed regional and international developments, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was attended by Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and US Ambassador to the Kingdom, John Abizaid. Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier to discuss the strong bilateral security and economic partnership between the United States, the US State Department said.
In Saudi Arabia where I’ll meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. I look forward to discussing our efforts to counter terrorism, deter Iran’s malign influence, promote respect for human rights, and expand our two-way trade relationship. pic.twitter.com/q9dxiejx0L
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 22, 2020
Both sides would also discuss progress made under the U.S-Saudi Arabia Strategic Dialogue held last month in Washington. The State Department added that the US and Saudi Arabia support global economic growth and stable energy markets as two of the world’s largest suppliers of oil and gas.
Washington recognizes Saudi Arabia’s progress toward transforming its economy under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 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.”
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 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.
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.
Source: Arab News