Pompeo transmits the anti-Iranian message to Arab Gulf countries


CAIRO (AP) "US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday passed the anti-Iranian message of the Trump government to the Gulf Arab States as he continued his Middle East tour in nine countries. in order to reassure the US partners that withdrawal of Syrian troops does not mean Washington is abandoning the region.

Pompeo was traveling to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, where he would call for increasing pressure on Iran and the promotion of unity of Gulf neighbors still battling an armed conflict with Qatar. It will also promote an initiative backed by the United States to form what some have called an "Arab NATO" that would bring the region together in a military alliance to counter the threats of Iran.

In Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, Pompeo will also plead, as in previous stops in Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, that President Donald Trump's decision removing American troops from Syria was not a sign. Washington withdraws from the fight against the Islamic State group.

US Partnerships with Gulf Cooperation Council Members "Are Essential to Achieving Common Regional Goals: Overcoming the Islamic State, Fighting Radical Islamist Terrorism, Protecting Global Energy Resources and Rolling Back the Aggression Iranian, "said the State Department in a statement issued after the departure of Pompeo Egypt for Bahrain, home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

But the two-year-old crisis between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and GCC members has hindered US attempts to forge a unified front against Iran. Washington's efforts to alleviate the conflict, started by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have so far failed and suffered another shock this week when the former general in charge of negotiate a solution resigned.

"A united GCC is the backbone of regional peace, prosperity, security and stability and is key to countering the greatest threat to regional stability: the Iranian regime," the department said. d & # 39; State.

At each of his stops in the Gulf, Pompeo will insist on progress towards the creation of the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which would associate the GCC armed forces with those of Egypt and Jordan to serve Counterbalance to Iran, which they all accuse of fomenting trouble. and rebellion throughout the region.

In addition, Pompeo will call for redoubling efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting against Iran-backed rebels in what the United Kingdom says be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, said the department.

The United States' peace efforts in Yemen, as well as efforts to find a political solution to the war in Syria that "expels every last Iranian coup" and to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan, will also be among Pompeo's agenda priorities, said the state department.

Pompeo began part of his tour in the Gulf after a stopover in Cairo, where he delivered a scathing rebuke of the Middle East policies of former President Barack Obama that he had described in a speech delivered in 2009 before the Arab and Muslim world.

In a speech titled "A Force for Good: America's Reinvigorated Role in the Middle East", Pompeo accused the former president of "misguided thinking" that would have diminished the role of the US president. America in the region while hurting its longtime friends and emboldening Iran.

He accused the Obama administration of being naive and timid in the face of the challenges posed by the revolts that rocked the Middle East, including Egypt, as of 2011. He also said that the Trump government took steps to repair the damage.

"The era of self-inflicted American shame is over, as are the policies that have produced so much unnecessary suffering," said Pompeo in his speech, himself denounced by former leaders of the US government. Obama administration for advocating against autocrats, thus ignoring human rights concerns.

"The fact that this administration feels the need, almost a decade later, to show a lot of spirit in trying to find a ground of understanding between the Arab world and the West, testifies no only the smallness of the Trump administration, but also its lack of strategic vision of America's role in the region and its abdication of America's values, "said in a statement the Action group on national security, a group of former leaders.

Pompeo blamed the approach adopted by the previous government towards the Middle East with the evils that are devouring it now, especially the rise of the group of Islamic states in Iraq and Syria and the growing assertion affirmed by Iran, which, he said, is a direct result of the easing of sanctions, since the cancellation of Trump. administration under the 2015 Nuclear Agreement.

Obama ignored the growth of Iran's Hezbollah-backed movement in Lebanon at the expense of Israel's security and not doing enough to repel Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

Since the withdrawal of the nuclear agreement last year, the administration has gradually increased pressure on Tehran and regularly accuses the country of being the most destabilizing influence of the region . He promised to increase the pressure until Iran put an end to what US authorities describe as "perverse activity" throughout the Middle East and elsewhere, including support for rebels in Yemen, groups Anti-Israel and Syrian President Bashar Assad.