US Secretary of State cuts tour short to attend family funeral after talks with King Salman

Monday 14th Jan 2019

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, will end his Middle East visit and return to the US to attend a family member’s funeral: “Secretary Pompeo will return to the United States after his meetings in Muscat, Oman,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. This curtailment of travel is required so that the Pompeo family may attend a family funeral.”

The announcement followed Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman and MBS in what is the final stop of his Middle East tour, the subject of which has been focused on the Syria problem.

Issues around the Yemen conflict were also discussed, including the wish of all parties to find a speedy victory and resolution to the rebellion.

Pompeo spoke with senior Saudi officials in Riyadh on Sunday, he apparently stressed the importance of finding a political solution to the Yemen situation and was quoted as saying “the need for continued regional efforts to stand against the Iranian regime’s malign activity and to advance peace, prosperity, and security,”.

Pompeo also touched upon the UN-sponsored talks in Sweden: “The work that was done in Sweden on Yemen was good, but both sides (need) to honor those commitments”, “Today, the Iranian-backed Houthis have chosen not to do that.”

“A comprehensive political solution is only way to the end the conflict,” – US Embassy tweet.

Pompeo also discussed issues with Qatar, and the Saudi boycott of the nation following the signs of Qatar funding extremist groups.

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