Saudi King Salman meets with Pompeo, discusses Gulf maritime security

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with King Salman at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah.

:: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on Monday he had discussed heightened tensions in the region with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman during a meeting in Jeddah.

Pompeo said they also discussed the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz, following attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters which Washington and Riyadh blame on Iran. Tehran denies the charges.

The US Secretary of State told reporters before departing that Washington wanted talks with Tehran even as it planned to impose “significant” new economic sanctions.

“We’ll be talking with (Saudi Arabia and the UAE) about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition…that understands this challenge,” Pompeo said.

Meanwhile, Pompeo held discussions with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on ensuring stability in energy markets and freedom of navigation, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador-designate to Washington said.

“Productive discussions … reinforcing the importance of our strategic ties, stressing the need to deter aggressive behavior in our region, promoting freedom of navigation and ensuring the stability of energy markets,” Ambassador-designate Reema Bandar al-Saud said on Twitter.

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