Mike Pompeo talking with Sultan Qaboos (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AP Images)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) meets with Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id. (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AP Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed a week-long visit to eight countries across the Middle East. There, he reiterated America’s commitment to the region and galvanized U.S. partners and allies to counter the Iranian regime’s destructive activities.

The strong economic and security partnership with Oman

The secretary met with Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id (above) in Muscat on January 14, commending the sultan for Oman’s capacity to create opportunities for dialogue on difficult issues at challenging times, including peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They agreed on the importance of all parties working with United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to end the conflict in Yemen. The secretary also thanked the sultan for hosting recent meetings on the economic and energy pillars of the proposed Middle East Strategic Alliance.

Pompeo was concluding a week of consultations with leaders in eight countries across the Middle East. A planned final stop in Kuwait was postponed so the Pompeo family can attend a family funeral.

During the trip he announced the U.S. will host a global conference in Warsaw, Poland, on February 13-14 focusing on Middle East stability, peace and security. The meeting will “bring together dozens of countries from all around the world, from Asia, from Africa, from Western Hemisphere countries, Europe too, the Middle East of course,” Pompeo said.

Wide-ranging talks with Saudi leaders

Mike Pompeo standing next to Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (above) and separately with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on January 14 in Riyadh to discuss the two countries’ close ties and the Trump administration’s efforts to create peace and stability in the Middle East. “A comprehensive political solution is the only way to end the Yemen conflict,” Pompeo said afterward. They also discussed the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Pompeo reiterated the U.S. expectation that all involved be held accountable.

Upon his arrival in the kingdom on January 13, Pompeo discussed with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir a full range of critical issues, including Iran, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Libya and Afghanistan.

New defense, cultural agreements with Qatar

Two men shaking hands at ceremony (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met several Qatar leaders January 13, including Deputy Prime Minister and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani (above). The leaders took part in the second U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue and later signed new defense, educational and cultural agreements, including expansion of the U.S. presence at Al Udeid Air Base, the primary staging area for coalition efforts to wipe out ISIS. “We are grateful for your country’s willingness to make sure that the airbase can meet the needs of the U.S. military for decades to come,” Pompeo said.

Praise for UAE’s role in Middle East

Two men seated, speaking with one another (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on January 12 with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (above) and Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and voiced gratitude for the UAE’s engagement on critical regional issues, including achieving lasting peace in Yemen.

The secretary thanked the crown prince and the foreign minister for the UAE’s strong partnership with the United States and discussed ways to expand bilateral ties, including trade and investment.

Gratitude for partnership with Bahrain

Mike Pompeo greeted by dignitaries on tarmac (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed critical priorities with the leaders of Bahrain on January 11 including counterterrorism, the conflict in Yemen and Iran’s dangerous activities.

The secretary expressed gratitude to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa for Bahrain’s strategic partnership with the United States, including hosting the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

They discussed realizing the Middle East Strategic Alliance anchored by a united Gulf Cooperation Council. Bahrain is the first of the six GCC countries Pompeo is visiting.

Visiting places of worship in Egypt

People walking down aisle in church (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ for Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church and the Al-Fattah Al-Alim mosque in the heart of Egypt’s new administrative capital.

Speaking in Egypt: U.S. is ‘a force for good in the Middle East’

Mike Pompeo at lectern (© Amr Nabil/AP Images)
(© Amr Nabil/AP Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed America’s commitment to its partners in the Middle East and urged them to take on more responsibilities for eradicating radical Islamic terrorism and countering Iran’s malign activities.

In a major address at the century-old American University in Cairo on January 10, Pompeo said the Trump administration’s approach is strengthening those partnerships.

He said the United States has always been “a force for good in the Middle East.”

“Our aim is to partner with our friends and vigorously oppose our enemies, because a strong, secure and economically vibrant Middle East is in our national interest, and it’s in yours as well,” he said.

While the United States will bring home troops from Syria, “this isn’t a change of mission,” he said. “We remain committed to the complete dismantling of the ISIS threat and the ongoing fight against radical Islamist terror. … We are looking to our partners to do more going forward.”

“We ask every peace-loving nation of the Middle East to shoulder new responsibilities for defeating Islamic extremism wherever we find it,” he said.

He cautioned that “the nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability or advance the dreams of their people if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course.”

Earlier, Pompeo conferred with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He reiterated the U.S. commitment to their strategic partnership and thanked Sisi for his leadership in advancing religious tolerance. Pompeo also emphasized the importance of protecting human rights.

Standing firm with Iraq

Two men speaking to each other at table (© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AP Images)
(© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AP Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on January 9 to confer with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi (above) and other Iraqi leaders. Pompeo expressed support for the new government’s efforts to deliver stability, security and prosperity to all Iraqis and emphasized the continued U.S. commitment to work with Iraqi security forces to ensure ISIS’ lasting defeat throughout the region.

Enduring strategic partnership with Jordan

Two men standing at lecterns (State Dept./Ron Pryzsucha)
(State Dept./Ron Pryzsucha)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, stopping first in Amman, Jordan, on January 8, met with King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein and applauded his leadership. “Your nation plays a critical role in regional security and stability, including through its efforts to peacefully resolve the Syrian conflict, fight the spread of radical Islamic terrorism, and countering the Iranian regime’s malign activities,” Pompeo said. He also met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (above).

Earlier, en route to the Middle East, Pompeo told reporters, “Our commitment to support Middle East stability is still full throttle.”