Strong US ties to be focus of Pompeo to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE

Strong US ties to be focus of Pompeo to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE

The top US diplomat will visit the Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to reaffirm the strong enduring ties, senior State Department officials said Friday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be making what could be one of his final overseas trips since President-elect Joe Biden appears headed for the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.

In Saudi Arabia, Pompeo will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss efforts to foster greater regional security and stability, one State Department official said during a call with reporters on Friday.

Pompeo will also express support for Saudi Arabia’s progress in transforming its economy as well as the Vision 2030 plan.

“He [Pompeo] will reaffirm a relationship that has constantly grown deeper since the [historic] meeting between King Abdulaziz and President Roosevelt … 75 years ago,” the US official said.

Prior to Saudi Arabia, Pompeo is set to visit the United Arab Emirates.

“Because the UAE is an important friend and partner, we will do everything we can to help it counter the Iranian regime. This includes the proposed sale of $23 billion worth” of fighter jets, aerial systems and more, the US State Department official said.

“The United States and UAE have enjoyed a very strong bilateral relationship for a very long time.”

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