The U.S. secretary of state is reportedly to deliver an address that repudiates the Middle East vision of former President Barack Obama.
By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is setting out Tuesday for a Middle East tour that is to take him to eight capitals. The announcement of the trip was made on Friday by the State Department, which said that the talks are due to focus on the security situations relating to Yemen, Syria, and Iran.
The U.S. secretary’s stops will be in Amman, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat, and Kuwait City. He is expected to try to reassure these Arab allies that the U.S. remains committed to them.
While in Cairo, Pompeo is scheduled to deliver an address on the American “commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East,” said the State Department.
In the speech, he will “repudiate the Middle East vision of former President Barack Obama,” says Politico. The U.S.-based political news outlet refers to the address of Obama, also in Cairo, in 2009, when the president’s aim was to reach out to the broader Muslim world beyond just American allies.
Politico quotes sources as saying that “Pompeo will slam Obama’s engagement with Iran, while asserting that President Donald Trump has the region’s best interests at heart.”
Obama’s speech at Cairo University was viewed by Israel’s government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the launching pad towards the sour relationship which evolved between the president and prime minister during the eight years of Obama’s two terms in the White House.
The problems started with Obama’s decision to make his trip to the Middle East early in his presidency without including Israel on the agenda. Then, in the address, he skimped over the Jewish people’s right to their land, stressing the Holocaust as an argument that the Jews needed a refuge as opposed to citing their biblical and historical rights.
The emphasis on the broader Muslim world, including the engagement with Iran which led to the six-nation nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, was at the core of the strained Obama-Netanyahu ties.
Trump announced last May that the U.S. was pulling out of the nuclear accord.
However, there have been concerns in Jerusalem recently over U.S. policy in Syria after the president announced an American withdrawal from that country. Pompeo met Netanyahu last week when both men were in Brazil. A senior Israeli official later expressed satisfaction over the results of the discussion.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton tried to further reassure the Israeli prime minister about Washington’s policy regarding Syria when they met Sunday in Jerusalem.