Pompeo Arrives in Riyadh for Regional Talks

Wednesday, 19 February, 2020 - 18:00
Asharq Al-Awsat

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday on a three-day visit dedicated to addressing regional affairs.

"We'll spend a lot of time talking about the security issues with the threat from Iran in particular," Pompeo told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa before heading to the Saudi capital.

Pompeo said the United States was "prepared to talk anytime" to Iran but emphasized that the Iranian regime has "got to fundamentally change their behavior".

"The pressure campaign continues. It's not just an economic pressure campaign, its diplomatic pressures, isolation through diplomacy as well," he said.

US President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew from a nuclear accord with Iran and imposed sweeping sanctions aimed at forcing it to change its malicious regional behavior.

Pompeo's visit comes in the wake of a US-ordered drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most powerful general, as he visited Baghdad on January 3

Regional tensions rose following the killing and Iran responded with missile strikes on US forces in Iraq.

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