Pompeo announces trip to Saudi Arabia, UAE for talks

Pompeo announces trip to Saudi Arabia, UAE for talks
© Aaron Schwartz

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIn Afghanistan, give peace a chance — and a lot of time The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia MORE announced Sunday that he would visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for discussions on ensuring a strategic alliance amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

"I'm heading out today. Our first stops will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents and will be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can go about a global coalition," he told reporters. 

According to Reuters, he also reiterated that the U.S. is prepared to talk to Iran "with no preconditions."  

“We’re prepared to negotiate with no preconditions. They know precisely where to find us,” he said. “I am confident that at the very moment they are ready to engage with us we will be able to begin these conversations.”

 

 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump primary challenger Bill Weld responds to rally chants: 'We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP' Cruz calls for 'every penny' of El Chapo's criminal enterprise to be used for Trump's wall after sentencing Cardi B posts message of support for Ilhan Omar MORE also said in an interview that aired Sunday that he would want to speak with Iran without preconditions. 

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“I'm not looking for war and if there is, it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that. But you can't have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Asked whether talks would include preconditions, Trump said “not as far as I'm concerned. No preconditions.”

Tensions between Washington and Tehran has have escalated in recent days after Iran downed an unmanned U.S. drone. Trump tweeted saying that the U.S. had been "cocked & loaded to retaliate" but that he called off a military strike after learning that 150 people would die. He later added that he was stopping the strike "from going forward at this time."