US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Saudi leaders on first leg of Mideast trip

Reuters Riyadh Saudi Arabia Apr 29, 2018, 08.01 AM(IST)

File photo of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Saudi capital on Saturday for the first leg of his trip to the Middle East where Iran is likely to be on the agenda.

The former CIA director who was sworn in as Rex Tillerson's replacement on Thursday was greeted by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and other Saudi officials at King Salman Air Base in Riyadh.

The State Department says Pompeo will also visit Jordan and Israel during the weekend after attending a NATO meeting on Friday in Brussels.

Pompeo picked those three Middle East stops "because of all that is going on," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

US President Donald Trump will decide by May 12 whether to restore US economic sanctions on Tehran, which would be a severe blow to the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six major powers.