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US plans to host global summit on ME in February
January 12, 2019
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WASHINGTON: The United States plans to host a global summit focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran, next month in Poland, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday.

Pompeo told Fox the international gathering would be held from Feb.13 to Feb.14 in Poland to “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilising influence.”

Pompeo told Fox News the summit would include representatives from countries around the world to address Iran’s regional influence as the Trump administration has sought to pressure Tehran.

Pompeo brought the Trump administration’s anti-Iran message to the Gulf Arab states on Friday, arriving in Bahrain.

Pompeo will also be promoting a US-backed initiative to form what some have termed an “Arab Nato” that would bring the region together in a military alliance to counter threats from Iran.

In Bahrain, the UAE and later Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, Pompeo will also be making the case as he did on previous stops in Jordan, Iraq and Egypt that President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops from Syria is not a sign Washington is retreating from the fight against the Daesh group.

US partnerships with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council “are critical to achieving shared regional objectives: defeating Daesh, countering terrorism, protecting global energy supplies, and rolling back Iranian aggression,” the State Department said in a statement released as Pompeo departed Egypt for Bahrain.

“A united GCC is the backbone for regional peace, prosperity, security, and stability, and is essential to countering the single greatest threat to regional stability: the Iranian regime,” the State Department said.

Pompeo during his trip will also call for boosting efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Iranian-backed rebels in what the UN says is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the department said.

UN-led peace efforts in Yemen, along with attempts to broker a political solution to the war in Syria that “expels every last Iranian boot from the country” and promoting reconciliation in Afghanistan will also be high on Pompeo’s agenda, the State Department said.

Agencies

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