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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

Beyond the Headlines podcast: Pompeo's timely tour of the Middle East

The US Secretary of State visits the region at a time when Trump's White House projects a muddled Middle East agenda

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference in Amman, Jordan, on January 8, 2019.Muhammad Hamed / Reuters
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference in Amman, Jordan, on January 8, 2019.Muhammad Hamed / Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on an expansive tour of the Gulf and wider Middle East this week. His task is to clarify President Donald Trump's often-confusing interests in the region.

We discuss in this week's Beyond the Headlines. Listen here:

Last month, President Trump tweeted that he would pull out of Syria within 30 days, sending shock waves around not just the region, but in his own administration. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disagreed with the proposal and resigned. Since then, the White House has said there is timetable on US withdrawal. The message keeps changing.

The National's Hashem Osserian explains how Pompeo's tour will influence the region going forward on Syria. We also ask Cinzia Bianco of Gulf State Analytics, about what else is on Pompeo's agenda.

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Updated: January 10, 2019 05:56 PM

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