Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Press Statement by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson
January 4, 2019
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will travel to Amman, Jordan; Cairo, Egypt; Manama, Bahrain; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Doha, Qatar; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Muscat, Oman; and Kuwait City, Kuwait January 8-15.
The Secretary will begin his trip in Amman, where he will meet with Jordanian leaders to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation, as well as ways to expand the strategic U.S.-Jordan partnership. The Secretary will engage with Jordanian leaders on critical regional issues including Syria and Jordan’s future trade relations with Iraq.
The Secretary will then travel to Cairo, where he will meet with Egyptian leaders to discuss critical regional issues, including Iran, Gaza, and counterterrorism, as well as economic and energy cooperation. The Secretary also will deliver a speech on the United States’ commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East.
In Manama, the Secretary will meet with Bahraini leaders to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation, as well as ways to expand the strategic U.S.-Bahraini partnership. The Secretary and Bahraini leaders will engage on critical regional issues, including counterterrorism and working together through the Middle East Strategic Alliance to counter the Iranian regime’s dangerous activities.
In Abu Dhabi, the Secretary will meet with leaders of the United Arab Emirates to discuss regional and bilateral issues, including ways to further expand ties in areas such as trade and investment. The Secretary also will discuss the need for all parties to adhere to the agreements made at the Yemen talks in Sweden, particularly the cease-fire and redeployment of forces in Hudaydah, in support of the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.
The Secretary will lead the U.S. delegation at the second U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue in Doha, which will further enhance bilateral cooperation in military, energy, counterterrorism, labor, education, culture, and commercial matters. He also will meet with Qatari leaders to discuss regional issues, such as Afghanistan and the importance of a united Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in standing against the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activity and advancing peace, prosperity, and security in the region.
In Riyadh, the Secretary will meet with Saudi leaders to discuss key bilateral and regional priorities, including Yemen, Iran, and Syria. The Secretary and Saudi leaders will discuss ways to continue bolstering UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths as he works toward a comprehensive political agreement among parties to end the conflict and realize a brighter future for Yemen. The Secretary also will seek an update on the status of the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In Muscat, the Secretary will meet with Omani leaders to discuss ways to promote peace throughout the region, including in Yemen, and build upon the strong U.S.-Oman partnership. The Secretary and Omani leaders will discuss the Middle East Strategic Alliance and the importance of a united GCC in advancing the peace, prosperity, and security of the region.
The Secretary will conclude his trip in Kuwait City, where he will lead the U.S. delegation at the third U.S.-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue, which will focus on many new areas of cooperation, including defense, cybersecurity, and strengthening economic ties. The Secretary also will meet with Kuwaiti leaders to discuss important regional issues, including the need for GCC unity and supporting UN-led efforts toward a comprehensive political agreement among parties to end the conflict in Yemen.