US Secretary Pompeo ends Mideast tour without a single country agreeing to normalisation with Israel
Pompeo has on multiple occasions said he is hopeful other nations will follow the lead of the UAE.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed home on Thursday, marking the end of a Middle East tour aimed at pressing other Arab countries to follow the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) recent move and normalize relations with Israel.
The tour was less than successful, however, as stops in Bahrain, Oman, and Sudan failed to produce any public commitments to mend relations with Israel, following the UAE’s decision to do so earlier this month.
Honored to meet with His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain. I thanked him for our continued friendship and strategic partnership. We remain committed to building peace and security to advance greater unity among Gulf countries, and counter the threat from Iran.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 26, 2020
While Bahrain and Sudan have stated implicitly that they do not plan on following the UAE’s lead regarding Israel, Oman, one of the more neutral players in the Gulf, did not immediately comment on the subject after Pompeo’s visit.
Met with Sudanese Sovereign Council Chair General Burhan to reaffirm U.S. support for the civilian-led transitional government and support for the deepening Israel-Sudan bilateral relationship. pic.twitter.com/kwQ9BlsgeK
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 25, 2020
The official Oman News Agency did say that during the meeting, “aspects of the existing bilateral cooperation between the sultanate and the United States were reviewed within the framework of the strong relations that bind them,” AFP reported.
Oman has long had a dialogue with Israel and welcomed the UAE’s 13 August announcement, while at the same time reaffirming its support for Palestine.
Met today with Omani Sultan Haitham bin Tarik Al Said on the importance of building regional peace, stability, and prosperity through a united Gulf Cooperation Council. Grateful for our strong security partnership and economic ties. pic.twitter.com/hCKL1FH9CX
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 27, 2020
Pompeo has on multiple occasions said he is hopeful other nations will follow the lead of the UAE, which became the third Arab country to establish relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.
Still, Sudan’s transitional government on Tuesday dashed hopes for a speedy breakthrough, saying it has “no mandate” to take such a weighty step.
Bahrain echoed the sentiments of its ally and regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia, saying that accord with Israel would not materialize without the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
While not visited by Pompeo, Morrocco has also announced that it would not consider normalizing relations with Israel.
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