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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Mike Pompeo going to Saudi Arabia on first foreign trip

Less than an hour after his confirmation in the role, secretary of state announces visit to Middle East

Fresh from his confirmation as America’s new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo announced promptly that he is travelling to Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel in a trip that starts on Thursday night. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Fresh from his confirmation as America’s new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo announced promptly that he is travelling to Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel in a trip that starts on Thursday night. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Fresh from his confirmation as America’s new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo announced promptly that he is traveling to Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel in a trip that starts on Thursday night.

Less than an hour after the Senate passed his appointment as the 70th Secretary of State by 57 to 42 votes, the state department announced that Mr Pompeo will travel to Brussels, Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Amman, on a trip that will continue until Monday.

“[Mr Pompeo] looks forward to meeting key Allies and partners on his first official trip as secretary of state” the statement said.

His first stopover will be in Brussels on Friday where he “will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participate in the NATO foreign ministerial meeting,” the statement said.

“The secretary will then travel to the Middle East, where he will meet with Saudi, Israeli, and Jordanian leaders to discuss critical regional and bilateral issues.”

The trip to the Middle East comes as the Trump administration is reviewing its options on Syria and in addressing the Iran nuclear deal ahead of the May 12 deadline. Mr Pompeo travelled to Saudi Arabia last year as CIA director.