Sunday, April 29, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Arrives in Israel

 Newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Israel where he is set to discuss the Iran nuclear deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a deal Pompeo indicated that the United States is likely to leave.

Netanyahu earlier on Sunday hailed Pompeo as “a true friend of Israel.”

“I think that it is important that he is coming to Israel as part of his first visit outside the U.S. as Secretary of State. I will discuss with him developments in the region, Iran’s growing aggression and – of course – the nuclear agreement with Iran, about which there will be a decision soon,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Pompeo, a former director of the CIA, was sworn in on Thursday and then left immediately on a diplomatic trip which first took him to NATO headquarters in Brussels. He visited Saudi Arabia on Saturday before landing in Israel on Sunday.

On Friday in Brussels, Pompeo seemed to indicate that the United States would dump the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the United States.

Pompeo told reporters during a news conference that he was “confident” that the Iran nuclear deal will “be a topic on my trip throughout the Middle East as well, not only talking about the concerns that President Trump has expressed consistently, but talking about ways to potentially address those shortcomings, finding a potential solution to the very flaws that President Trump has identified for a long time now.”

Pompeo noted that the Trump administration had not made a final decision on whether to leave the deal and reinstate sanctions on Iran, a decision that must be taken by May 12.

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