RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – U.S. Pat. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and became the first US diplomat to begin the Middle East on his first overseas trip
Pompeo has arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for talks with the Saudi king, crown princes and foreigners ministers only a few weeks ahead of several important data that could shake the volatile region even further. After leaving Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Pompeo will travel to Israel and Jordan before returning home.
President Donald Trump has set a deadline of 12 May to withdraw from the nuclear dispute with Iran, to stay from European and other parties. Two days later, the US is planning to open its new embassy in Jerusalem, a significant shift in decades of American policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, who also claim the holy city as their capital.
The embassy movement is being celebrated by the Palestinians celebrating the anniversary of the so-called "Nabka" or catastrophe on May 15, when they fled or were evicted from their homes during the 1948 Palestine War. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the recent violent protests on the border between Israel and Gaza.
The uncertainty surrounding Trump's Syria policy, which has shifted from a swift and complete withdrawal of US forces, is also emerging. The country left a lasting mark to prevent Iran from building a land bridge from Tehran to Beirut ,
On Friday at a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels, the first stop of his trip, Pompeo reiterated Trump's promise to withdraw from Iran's deal, unless it's clearly strengthened. He said the US would be "unlikely" if that was not done.
"Without an essential solution, without overcoming the shortcomings, the mistakes of the agreement, he probably will not stay in this business after this May," Pompeo said.