Middle East/North Africa

Pompeo meets with Saudi crown prince amid tensions with Iran

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman bin Abudalaziz al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Monday amid ongoing friction between the U.S. and Iran, according to the State Department.

“The Secretary, the King and the Crown Prince discussed the heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security to promote freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

{mosads}“They also agreed on the importance of working together with the Gulf Cooperation Council to counter the Iranian threat throughout the region and to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its malign behavior,” she added.



Pompeo on Sunday announced visits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the nations’ strategic alliance with the U.S.

Pompeo told reporters Sunday he would be “talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can go about a global coalition.”

The meeting comes after the U.S. reportedly planned, then cancelled, a retaliatory strike against Iran after the nation downed a U.S. drone that it claimed was in Iranian airspace.

The U.S./Saudi relationship has also been under heightened scrutiny in relation to the murder of Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate. A United Nations report found evidence the Crown Prince ordered the killing but did not make a conclusion, calling for a broader probe.

In an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, President Trump would not commit to ordering an FBI investigation into the matter.

Tags Donald Trump Mike Pompeo

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