Pompeo Talks Yemen, Syria, Iran, and Khashoggi with Saudi King and Crown Prince
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in Riyadh on Monday to discuss the civil wars in Yemen and Syria, threats posed by Iran, the dispute with Qatar, and the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
According to NBC News, Pompeo met with the Saudi royals separately, spending 35 minutes with the king and 45 with the crown prince, who is the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia on most policy issues.
Pompeo told the crown prince that his Middle East journey, which has taken him to Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, had been “good” so far.
“I want to talk to you about a couple of places we’ve been. We think we learned a lot along the way that will be important going forward,” he said.
The prince replied that the Saudis would “try to add more positivity, as much as we can.”
“We certainly talked about our effort to counter Iranian malign influence, but we spoke about all the issues in the region, ranging from the continued efforts of Hezbollah; we talked about the fact that the – the work that was done in Sweden on Yemen was good, but we need both sides to honor those commitments. To date, the Iranian-backed Houthis have chosen not to do that,” Pompeo said at a press conference in Riyadh on Monday.
Pompeo said he discussed Iranian support for extremism with the king and MBS, positioning an independent Iraq as an important check against Iran’s regional ambitions:
So this all – step back and this all starts with extremism in whatever form you find it. In this case you have Iranian-backed Houthis, Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq, Iranian-backed forces in Syria, and in each case the root of the challenge stems from the revolutionary nature of the Islamic regime and their efforts abroad. And so they’re focused on doing the things they can do.
I talked to – I shared with the crown prince and with the king, if I recall correctly, my conversations to help Iraq as well. We want an Iraq that is independent, sovereign, and how it is we might do that – there are lots of economic things we can do to assist Iraq in getting back on its feet, which will permit them to be more independent and have more control and be more sovereign. I shared with the crown prince my conversations when I traveled to Iraq.
[link to www.breitbart.com (secure)