Pompeo to visit Oman and Saudi Arabia this month

US Secretary of State will discuss Iran and Yemen in Riyadh

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to a question as he speaks with reporters at the State Department, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Oman and Saudi Arabia this month, as part of a broader diplomatic trip that will begin next Thursday.

Mr Pompeo will stop in Riyadh from February 19 to 21 to discuss regional and bilateral issues including Iran, Yemen and human rights with the Saudi leadership, the State Department said on Wednesday.

The Saudi Deputy Defence Minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, met Mr Pompeo in Washington last month to address escalation in the region after a US drone strike killed Iran’s most senior general, Qassem Suleimani, at the start of the year.

Mr Pompeo will then travel to Oman to express his condolences on the death of Sultan Qaboos and to meet Sultan Haitham to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Before his Middle East visit, Mr Pompeo will travel to Germany, Senegal, Angola and Ethiopia.

On Friday, February 14, he will arrive in Munich where he will speak at the Munich Security Conference and hold meetings with other world leaders.

Mr Pompeo will then travel to Dakar, Senegal from February 15 to 16, where he will meet President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Amadou Ba to try to strengthen the security and economic partnership between the two nations.

The secretary will travel to Luanda, Angola, on February 17, where he will meet President Joao Lourenco and Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto to reaffirm US support for the country’s moves against corruption and towards democracy.

Mr Pompeo will also meet the business community to discuss the fight against corruption, and growing trade and investment opportunities.

Then, the secretary will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from February 17 to 19.

There he will meet Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde to discuss regional security and to support the African country's political and economic reform agenda.