TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo’s trip to the Middle East (all times local):
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has offered a strong boost of support for Israel against Iran.
On his first official trip abroad, Pompeo met with Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to in Tel Aviv on Sunday to discuss both countries’ concerns about Iran. Both men described the talks as successful.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains,” Pompeo said. “The United States is with Israel in this fight.”
Pompeo also said the U.S. will withdraw from the international nuclear agreement with Iran if it is not renegotiated. Netanyahu has long urged the international community to revise the deal or scrap it.
The new U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has arrived in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first official trip abroad to punish Iran for its missile programs.
Ahead of Pompeo’s arrival, Netanyahu said the talks would focus on “Iran’s growing aggression” in the region and the upcoming U.S. decision on the international nuclear agreement with Iran.
He called Pompeo, who advocates a hard line against Iran, a “true friend” of Israel.
Pompeo arrived Sunday afternoon after talks in Saudi Arabia.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Saudi Arabia, kicking off the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America’s top diplomat.
His visit on Saturday comes just weeks ahead of several key dates that have potential to further roil the already volatile region.
President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — something he appears likely to do despite heavy pressure to stay in from European and other parties.
Two days later the U.S. plans to open its new embassy in Jerusalem, marking a significant shift in decades of American policy toward Israel and the Palestinians, who also claim the holy city as their capital.
After Saudi Arabia, Pompeo goes to Israel and Jordan.