Written by Reuters
09 Jan, 2019 | 1:07 pm
Reuters – Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the U.S. decision to withdraw forces from Syria will not impact the capacity of the international coalition to fight the Islamic State (IS) militants.
Pompeo Tuesday started a visit to Jordan — the first stop of his trip to the Middle East, and met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman, consulting on issues like the situation in Syria and so-called “Iran’s threat”.
At a joint press conference with Safadi, Pompeo said that “the president’s decision to withdraw our folks from Syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on that (fighting the IS)” and that the U.S. would continue to stay there on the Middle East issues, and strengthen cooperation with all the allies in the area.
Meanwhile, Pompeo hailed Jordan a strategic partner in the region, saying it plays a critical role in regional security and stability and combating terrorism. For his part, Safadi highlighted Jordan’s partnership with the U.S. in fighting terrorism.
In December last year, the U.S. decided to retreat its forces from Syria, which sparked controversy between the country and its allies. On Jan. 4, the U.S. promised that it would not quit the Middle East and dispatch Pompeo to visit eight Middle East countries like Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, at the press conference, Pompeo also stated that the U.S. would continue to put diplomatic and commercial pressure on Iran in the coming days and weeks.
Just one day ahead of Pompeo’s visit to Jordan, Iranian Defense Minister, Amir Hatami, said facing threats from the U.S. and Israel, Iran would not keep silent. On the same occasion, concerning the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, said the U.S. “failed in its strategy in Syria”, and that it should not only leave Syria but also leave the whole Middle East.
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