King Salman, Pompeo discuss energy market stability amid fresh US sanctions on Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Monday with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss stability in energy markets, freedom of navigation, and countering Iran’s military threat.
Pompeo tweeted that he had a “productive meeting” in the Kingdom, as they discussed “heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security” in the Strait of Hormuz amid new US sanctions on Iran.
Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Reema Bandar Al-Saud, also said that the meetings were “productive” and necessary to promote freedom and safety in the region.
Productive discussions between His Majesty @KingSalman, HRH the Crown Prince & @SecPompeo reinforcing the importance of our strategic ties, stressing the need to deter aggressive behavior in our region, promoting freedom of navigation and ensuring stability of energy markets. pic.twitter.com/6AWMpRBtwQ
Meanwhile, during Pompeo’s visit to Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order which includes tough sanctions on Iran, aimed at putting pressure on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his regime.
The US also accused Iran of encouraging allies in Yemen to attack Saudi targets. In a joint statement on Monday, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and UK expressed concerns over Middle East tensions and the dangers posed by Iran’s "destabilizing activity" to peace and security in Yemen and the region.
Pompeo also visited the UAE capital Abu Dhabi after Saudi Arabia. During his meeting with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, he said he was hoping that more than 20 countries— including the UAE and Saudi Arabia— would work together on building and funding maritime security.
"We'll need you all to participate, your military folks," Pompeo was quoted as saying to AFP.
"The president is keen on sharing that the United States doesn't bear the cost of this," he added.
Elsewhere, the United Nations Security Council condemned attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman as a serious threat to international peace and security, while the US, Britain, and France have condemned the latest Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport.