Wed, 17 Jul 2019

Saudi Arabian crown prince gets phone call from Mike Pompeo

By Jay Jackson, Salt Lake City News
21 Mar 2019, 06:50 GMT+10

JERUSALEM, Israel - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken time out on his current tour of the Midle East to phone Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pompeo was in Israel on Wednesday after flying in from Kuwait where he repeated a call for sparring Gulf countries to make peace with Qatar. He alaso discussed the status of the Syrian and Yemeni wars with Kuwaiti authorities.

On Wednesday night, Pompeo put a call in to the crown prince, primarily to get an update on the Yemen War, from the Saudi perspective.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Gulf and other states in taking on the al-Houthi rebels.

Pompeo and the crown prince reportedly agreed on the importance for the recent truce, known as the Stockholm Agreement, to survive. Heavy fighting in some parts of the countries has persisted despite the truce, although casualties have been declining.

While in Jerusalem, the secretary was scheduled to meet with Israeli officials on critical regional issues, including countering the Iranian regime's influence and reaffirming the United States' unwavering commitment to Israel's security. He was also expected to discuss the Administration's dedication to monitoring and combatting anti-Semitism. While in Jerusalem, the secretary was also expected to participate in a meeting with Israeli, Cypriot, and Greek leaders to discuss key energy and security issues facing the Eastern Mediterranean region.

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Netanyahu, in the secretary's presence, called on the international community to recognise Israel's 'sovereignty' over the dispute Golan Heights.

"Last week we uncovered efforts by Hezbollah, Iran's proxy, to build up a terror network on the Golan Heights, and you can all imagine what would happen if were were not in the Golan," the Israeli prime minister said. "We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee." The secretary did not comment.

Pompeo's next stop on his tour is Beirut, in Lebanon.

In Beirut, Pompeo will meet with Lebanese leaders to discuss the political, security, economic, and humanitarian challenges facing Lebanon. The Secretary's visit, a sattement from his office said, will underscore U.S. support for the Lebanese people and Lebanon's legitimate state institutions. 

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