US ties with Riyadh ‘vi­tal for sta­bil­ity of re­gion’

Arab News - - Front Page - Arab News Dubai

Wash­ing­ton’s re­la­tion­ship with Saudi Ara­bia is “fun­da­men­tal to the sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of the re­gion,” US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said on Satur­day.

“The re­la­tion­ship must go for­ward. We have to have good re­la­tions with the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia and this ad­min­is­tra­tion in­tends to do so,” Pom­peo said in an in­ter­view with Al Ara­biya.

The sec­re­tary of state was speak­ing in Abu Dhabi on the lat­est leg of a nine-na­tion Mid­dle East tour aimed at re­as­sur­ing al­lies of US com­mit­ment to the re­gion af­ter Pres­i­dent

“We rec­og­nize the Turk­ish peo­ple’s right to de­fend their coun­try from ter­ror­ists, but we also know that those ... who are not ter­ror­ists and fought along­side us for all this time de­serve to be pro­tected,” he said.

“There are many de­tails to be worked out but I am op­ti­mistic we can achieve a good out­come.”

He said the US en­voy for Syria, Jim Jef­frey, had trav­eled to north­east Syria last week and would soon go to Ankara for talks on a UN-led po­lit­i­cal process to end the con­flict in Syria.

He suggested that talks be­tween the As­sad regime and the Syr­ian Kurds could be part of a broader po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion in Syria. “We hope we can turn the cor­ner here,” he said.

Pom­peo said the with­drawal of US troops from Syria would make no dif­fer­ence to Amer­ica’s re­gional strate­gic ob­jec­tives; the mis­sion to de­stroy Daesh and counter Iran’s in­flu­ence re­mained the same.

“The fact that a cou­ple of thou­sand uni­formed per­son­nel in Syria will be with­draw­ing is a tac­ti­cal change,” he said.

“It doesn’t ma­te­ri­ally al­ter our ca­pac­ity to con­tinue to per­form the mil­i­tary ac­tions that we need to per­form.”

In a speech in Cairo on Thurs­day, Pom­peo vowed that the US would “ex­pel ev­ery last Ira­nian boot” from Syria. “It’s an am­bi­tious ob­jec­tive, but it is ours, and it is our mis­sion,” he said.

The US wants to cre­ate a Mid­dle East Strate­gic Al­liance against Iran, com­pris­ing the Gulf states, Egypt and Jor­dan.

Wash­ing­ton will con­vene an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit in Poland next month fo­cus­ing on peace and sta­bil­ity in the Mid­dle East, in­clud­ing Iran’s in­flu­ence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saudi Arabia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.