US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Saudi leaders, cancels Kuwait visit

US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Saudi leaders, cancels Kuwait visit

US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Saudi leaders, cancels Kuwait visit

Pompeo last visited Riyadh two weeks after Khashoggi disappeared to press the key USA ally on the whereabouts of the Washington Post contributor, who disappeared after entering the consulate to obtain marriage documents.

Much of the resistance to the USA pullout from anywhere the military is entrenched centers on the fear it would threaten the status quo.

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.

"This curtailment of travel is required so that the Pompeo family may attend a family funeral", the spokesman said.

He added, "That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region".

The US diplomat appeared more reserved than his previous visit at the height of the Khashoggi affair, when his broad smiles with the crown prince outraged many Americans.

Pompeo was received by Al-Jubeir and Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid Bin Salman in Riyadh on Sunday night. "They reiterated their commitment to achieve the objective". Bob Corker, said after a Central Intelligence Agency briefing that there was no question that the crown prince had "ordered" the murder.

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Relations between Riyadh and Washington have remained strained after journalist Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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Furious over the murder, United States lawmakers have demanded Washington pull back its support to the Saudi-led military campaign against Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Pompeo's visit to Saudi Arabia, where he will be hosted by Prince Mohammed, is part of an extensive eight-day trip to Amman, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat, and finally Kuwait City.

The top USA diplomat met separately with King Salman for 35 minutes and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for another 45 minutes, according to reporters travelling with him.

Pompeo's visit to Riyadh comes as US President Donald Trump faces Congressional pressure to end logistical support to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition in Yemen on the side of the government. The top USA diplomat indicated that the Trump team hasn't decided whether it will be a "safe zone" or a "buffer zone."President Trump called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan today and called for the United States and Turkey to work together in the northeast, including to make sure the Syrian Kurds are not attacked, according to a readout of the call".

Pompeo met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani Sunday during his visit to Doha, where he refused to comment on reports Washington had recently considered military action against Tehran.

Obliquely referring to the ongoing isolation of Qatar by other Gulf Cooperation Council nations and Egypt, Pompeo said all parties involved are "figuring out how they can put [the GCC] back together".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Qatari Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Dr Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, upon his arrival at the Doha worldwide airport in the Qatari capital Doha, Qatar January 13, 2019.

"(It's) not at all clear that the rift is any closer to being resolved today than it was yesterday", he said.

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