By Arab News
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to eight Middle East capitals next week for talks on security expected to focus on Yemen, Syria and Iran.
UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths will also arrive in Sanaa on Saturday as international efforts aimed at ending the war in Yemen continue.
Griffiths will meet leaders of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels before traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks in Riyadh with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Separately, US National Security Adviser John Bolton is visiting Israel and Turkey. His talks will focus on Syria and “how the US will work with allies and partners to prevent the resurgence of Daesh, stand fast with those who fought with us against Daesh, and counter Iranian malign behavior in the region,” his spokesman said.
In his first Middle East visit since President Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to withdraw US forces from Syria, Pompeo leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day trip to Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. The US hopes each country will play a significant role in a regional strategic partnership being called an “Arab NATO.”
On his second stop in Cairo he will deliver a speech on the US “commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East,” the State Department said.
Washington is seeking to build a consensus on how to deal with Syria and its backer Iran in the light of the US troop withdrawal.
It is also seeking a solution to the war in Yemen between the legitimate government supported by a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi militias backed by Iran.
Both sides have agreed to a cease-fire in the port city of Hodeidah while UN envoy Griffiths seeks to bring about a new round of talks.
The withdrawal of US troops from Syria was initially expected to be completed within weeks, but has been slowed as Trump has acceded to requests from aides, allies and US politicians for a more orderly pullout.