Pom­peo wants to end Gulf dis­pute dur­ing Qatar visit

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - AGEN­CIES /

US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo ar­rived in Qatar on Sun­day push­ing for an end to a di­plo­matic rift be­tween Washington's Gulf al­lies on the lat­est leg of his Mid­dle East tour. The top US diplo­mat’s visit to the small, en­ergy-rich Gulf state comes amid a more than 18-mon­thold dis­pute pit­ting Riyadh and its al­lies against Doha. “It is time for old ri­val­ries to end for the sake of the greater good of the re­gion,” Pom­peo said on Thurs­day in Cairo, where he laid out the Mid­dle East strat­egy of Trump’s ad­min­stra­tion.

The sec­re­tary of state trav­elled to Doha from Abu Dhabi, where he met Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Zayed (in pic) on Satur­day.

Pom­peo is later ex­pected to head to Riyadh, where all eyes will be on a pos­si­ble meet­ing with Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man. The visit comes just three months af­ter the mur­der of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi in his coun­try's Is­tan­bul con­sulate.

Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, all US al­lies, cut ties with Qatar in June 2017, ac­cus­ing it of aid­ing ter­ror groups and seek­ing closer ties to Saudi archri­val Iran. Qatar, also a US ally, de­nies the al­le­ga­tions and ac­cuses the coun­tries of seek­ing regime change.

Mean­while, Pom­peo said he will ask Saudi Crown

Prince MbS to en­sure the killers of Khashoggi are held ac­count­able. “We will con­tinue to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the crown prince and the Saudis about en­sur­ing the ac­count­abil­ity is full and com­plete with re­spect to the un­ac­cept­able mur­der of Khashoggi,” Pom­peo told the me­dia in Qatar.

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