Pompeo touts Iranian Gulf coverage forward of Biden’s presidency

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended his tour of the Gulf Arab states and the Trump administration’s continued efforts to squeeze Iran, at the same time as a brand new administration American led by Joe Biden is getting ready to enter the White Home in January.

Though Pompeo didn’t reply to questions from US-based reporters touring with him up to now 10 days, he spoke to Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya in Dubai for temporary televised remarks on Sunday.

“Our insurance policies usually are not altering. Our obligation doesn’t change. My duties don’t change, ”he mentioned. “I nonetheless have an obligation – each hour, each minute – to face up for the American individuals and hold them entrance and middle in our efforts, and we are going to. We’ll do that on the final minute.

In what was possible his final tour of the Persian Gulf as Secretary of State, he touted the Trump administration’s Center East technique which centered on Iran as “the central menace within the area.” and for a most stress marketing campaign that hampered Iran’s capacity to assist militias in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

“Will probably be our coverage till our time is up,” he mentioned, with out saying when he would cease working as a high American diplomat.

President Donald Trump refused to concede to Biden, regardless of the The vain efforts of the Trump campaign block the certification of votes in numerous states.

The Trump administration is tries to increase the pressure on Iran earlier than Biden took workplace as president. Biden has mentioned he needs to return to rapprochement with Iran. Analysts say Biden ought to be extra prepared to interact the Iranians with a view to keep away from a serious escalation, though he’s prone to stress Tehran on its missile program and never simply its nuclear program.

Trump is seen favorably by Gulf heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for pulling the US out of a nuclear take care of Iran and reimposing sweeping sanctions that drained Iran of income important oil tankers.

Pompeo is because of journey to Saudi Arabia on Sunday night to satisfy with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier than returning to Washington. His tour additionally included stops in France, Turkey and Israel, together with an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and one museum which pays homage to Christian Zionists.

Trump was not too long ago refused to go forward with a navy strike on Iran’s essential nuclear web site by advisers who included Pompeo, in accordance with a New York Occasions report. When requested about this, a State Division official touring with Pompeo informed reporters that “all choices are on the desk” and that the Trump administration “will proceed to pursue its insurance policies till it’s over. extra in energy ”.

Pompeo started his Gulf tour within the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, early Saturday, assembly with Emirate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who is taken into account the day-to-day ruler and highly effective determine behind the primary political choices of the nation.

The State Division mentioned it mentioned the progress of the UAE’s resolution to normalize relations with Israel – a transfer that has been adopted by Bahrain and Sudan. In addition they mentioned “the cooperation in issues of safety and the struggle towards the pernicious affect of Iran within the area, in addition to that of China”, signifies the American assertion.

Pompeo “additionally confused the significance of the unity of the Gulf.”

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have largely backed down within the face of US efforts to reconcile with Qatar, which they accuse of sponsoring terrorism and supporting violent Islamist teams within the area. . The quartet severed ties with Qatar in mid-2017 and known as on the gas-rich Arab state to close down its flagship Al Jazeera information community, amongst different calls for, which Qatar categorically rejected, in addition to accusations.

Pompeo left Abu Dhabi for Qatar on Saturday, though there are not any direct industrial flights because of the standoff.

He had lunch with the chief, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and met with Qatar’s overseas minister. The State Division mentioned Pompeo mentioned regional points and “the significance of a united Gulf in opposing the destabilizing exercise of the Iranian regime and the danger to the area offered by China.”

Qatar, nonetheless, maintains heat ties with Iran. The 2 international locations additionally share an enormous underwater gasoline area within the Persian Gulf.

Whereas in Qatar, Pompeo met with representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban, the place the fighters maintain discussions concerning the nation’s future. Regardless of a pointy improve in violence this yr, Washington plans to withdraw about 2,500 troops by mid-January, leaving about 2,000 troops in Afghanistan.

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