US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to start a tour of the Middle East, including the United States’ biggest ally, on Saturday to give “new impetus” to US diplomacy.
The news agency Agence France Presse that after participating in talks within the framework of NATO in Brussels, leaves on a three-day tour in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan to present plans of US President Donald Trump on the Iranian nuclear agreement to these three friendly countries.
Pompeo insists Trump has not yet decided his decision, but is likely to decide his country’s withdrawal from the deal next month, paving the way for a re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The former director of the CIA, who was sworn in as the top US diplomat last Tuesday, will hold consultations with Iran’s main foes in the region before Trump announces his decision.
This task, however, is accompanied by a second task of a personal nature. Pompeo intends to prove to foreign capitals and to his colleagues themselves the return of American diplomacy after the austerity of his predecessor, Rex Tilerson, before his dismissal.
What contributed to this was that the former foreign minister from the world of oil companies did not fill senior positions in his ministry and embarked on bureaucratic reforms that were not supported and, most importantly, he did not agree with the president.
Pompeo, a former officer, businessman and conservative member of Congress, was keen to take up the job right after he was sworn in and chose to inaugurate his term with talks with NATO and Middle East allies.
During his confirmation process, his critics referred to earlier statements against Islam and gay marriage, arguing that this does not qualify him to represent American values abroad.
But there is optimism among the officials accompanying him on his tour that US diplomacy has finally become a president who can speak on behalf of the White House and will focus on the core functions of the ministry.
Pompeo was in Riyadh on Saturday for talks with his counterpart Adel al-Jubeir before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met at a dinner table.