Friday, January 4, 2019

Oh Boy, Bolton and Pompeo Crisscrossing the Middle East

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton will crisscross the Middle East to "reassure" allies after President Trump’s surprise Syria exit news, and the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, reports Bloomberg.

Bolton will travel to Israel and Turkey.

Pompeo will visit Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

According to Bloomberg, beyond Syria, the best public indication of the administration’s vision for the region may come during a speech Pompeo plans to give in Cairo on “the United States’ commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East,” according to the State Department. Pompeo will also make a "symbolically significant" visit to Saudi Arabia, his first since rushing to the kingdom soon after the killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi by people close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The State Department said he’ll get an “update on the status of the investigation” into Khashoggi’s death as well as seek to advance peace talks over the conflict in Yemen.

“Leaving tomorrow for Israel & Turkey to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, how we will work with allies & partners to prevent the resurgence of ISIS, stand fast with those who fought with us against ISIS, & counter Iranian malign behavior in the region,” Bolton tweeted Thursday night.

"Stand fast with those who fought with us against ISIS," hmm. There goes the Syria exit.


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