181215 Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo Image Credit: AFP

Manama: Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will discuss with Gulf leaders ways to boost partnerships and to tackle terrorism as well as the latest developments in the region, mainly in Yemen, the State Department said on Friday.

Pompeo will visit on January 8-15 the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as Jordan and Egypt.

He will begin his trip in Amman where he will discuss with Jordanian leaders areas of bilateral cooperation, as well as ways to expand the strategic US-Jordan partnership, the State Department said. He will engage with Jordanian leaders on critical regional issues including Syria and Jordan’s future trade relations with Iraq.

Pompeo will then travel to Cairo to discuss with Egyptian leaders “critical regional issues, including Iran, Gaza, and counterterrorism, as well as economic and energy cooperation.” He will also deliver a speech on the United States’ commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East.

In Bahrain, Pompeo will meet Bahraini leaders to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation, as well as ways to expand the strategic US-Bahraini partnership. The Secretary and Bahraini leaders will engage on critical regional issues, including counterterrorism and working together through the Middle East Strategic Alliance to counter the Iranian regime’s dangerous activities.

In Abu Dhabi, the Secretary will meet leaders of the United Arab Emirates to discuss regional and bilateral issues, including ways to further expand ties in areas such as trade and investment. The Secretary also will discuss the need for all parties to adhere to the agreements made at the Yemen talks in Sweden, particularly the cease-fire and redeployment of forces in Hudaydah, in support of the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.

The Secretary will discuss with Qatari leaders regional issues, such as Afghanistan and the importance of a united GCC in standing against the Iranian regime’s destabilising activity and advancing peace, prosperity, and security in the region.

In Riyadh, the Secretary will meet Saudi leaders to discuss key bilateral and regional priorities, including Yemen, Iran, and Syria. The Secretary and Saudi leaders will discuss ways to continue bolstering UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths as he works toward a comprehensive political agreement among parties to end the conflict and realise a brighter future for Yemen. The Secretary also will seek an update on the status of the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the State Department said

In Muscat, the Secretary will meet discuss with Omani leaders ways to promote peace throughout the region, including in Yemen, and build upon the strong US-Oman partnership. The Secretary and Omani leaders will discuss the Middle East Strategic Alliance and the importance of a united GCC in advancing the peace, prosperity, and security of the region.

The Secretary will conclude his trip in Kuwait City, where he will lead the U.S. delegation at the third US-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue, which will focus on many new areas of cooperation, including defence, cybersecurity, and strengthening economic ties. The Secretary also will meet Kuwaiti leaders to discuss important regional issues, including the need for GCC unity and supporting UN-led efforts toward a comprehensive political agreement among parties to end the conflict in Yemen.