RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The Latest on U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo’s trip to the Middle East (all times local):
The new U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has arrived in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first official trip abroad to punish Iran for its missile programs.
Ahead of Pompeo’s arrival, Netanyahu said the talks would focus on “Iran’s growing aggression” in the region and the upcoming U.S. decision on the international nuclear agreement with Iran.
He called Pompeo, who advocates a hard line against Iran, a “true friend” of Israel.
Pompeo arrived Sunday afternoon after talks in Saudi Arabia.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia, kicking off the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat.
His visit on Saturday comes just weeks ahead of several key dates that have potential to further roil the already volatile region.
President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — something he appears likely to do despite heavy pressure to stay in from European and other parties.
Two days later the U.S. plans to open its new embassy in Jerusalem, marking a significant shift in decades of American policy toward Israel and the Palestinians, who also claim the holy city as their capital.
After Saudi Arabia, Pompeo goes to Israel and Jordan.