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US to Hold International Summit on Iran

US to Hold International Summit on Iran
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The US will host an international summit next month in Poland to discuss Iran’s influence as related to the stability of the Middle East, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday.

“The ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region,” said the State Department.

More than 70 countries from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia were invited to attend. 

“Countries will all come together to focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region,” said Pompeo. “And that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

The announcement follows visits to Middle Eastern countries by Pompeo and Defense Secretary John Bolton, who spoke with leaders throughout the region following Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

During his trip, Pompeo said the US was “redoubling” efforts to increase pressure on Iran and reassured allies the Trump Administration was committed to the total destruction of ISIS. Last week, Bolton singlehandedly promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the safety of Israel and the defeat of ISIS.

Pompeo on Friday arrived in Bahrain to begin the second leg of his tour, which will take him to Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

“These Gulf partnerships are critical to achieving shared regional objectives,” said the State Department, adding that Pompeo will work to advance a proposed strategic alliance with partners in the Middle East.

While in Saudi Arabia, Pompeo will attempt to diffuse tensions with Qatar and discuss the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a heinous atrocity and something that is completely unacceptable, and we are working to hold everyone connected to that accountable,” he said. “We’ll continue to do that as facts unfold.  We’ve already sanctioned a number of people.  We’ll continue to do that.”

The summit on Iran will take place in Warsaw on February 13th-14th.

The first US troops left Syria on Friday.

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