US committed to Middle East despite planned Syria withdrawal

World Today

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the press in the newly inaugurated Cathedral of the Nativity Christ, in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, east of Cairo, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. remains committed to the Middle East despite the planned withdrawal from Syria.

Pompeo stopped in Cairo on a tour of the region.

CGTN’S Adel Mahrouky reports on the reaction he’s getting.

Following Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Secretary of State Pompeo has been touring the Arab World.

Some Arab nations feared the move could increase Iran’s influence in the region. Pompeo came to comfort these concerns.

“I believe he’s here to give a far more important message than comfort. Pompeo is drawing the new U.S. foreign policy in the region throughout the coming years. In Cairo, he’s discussing many crucial issues for the region, among them Egypt’s role in Syria post the U.S. troops withdrawal, there is a suggestion to replace them with a kind of Arab force. In addition, they will be discussing another draft of the Palestinian Crisis so-called deal of the Century,” Deputy Editor in Chief, Rose Al Youssef said.

Pompeo has met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah EL Sisi, the Chief of General Intelligence Abbas Kamel and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

The talks were mainly concerned about security threats in the region.

Both parties have renewed their commitment to deepen their old partnership in facing these challenges.

After meeting the Egyptian president, Pompeo announced the United States foreign policy for the Middle East in the coming years. He reassured his Arab Allies that the United States will keep supporting them. However, his speech did not include details about how this vision would be implemented.

Pompeo said the Trump’s administration has had a positive impact in the Arab world.

“Ninety-nine percent of the territories ISIS once held is liberated, life is returning to normal for millions of Iraqis and Syrians. Of course, our work together is not finished. It’s almost never America’s work alone. Our aim is to partner with our friends and vigorously oppose our enemies, because a strong secure and an economically vibrant Middle East is in our national interests,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo confirmed that the U.S. will work with its allies to reduce Iran’s influence in the region, primarily citing its threats against Israel. Yet, he didn’t tackle other major Arab Conflicts.

“Arab leaders, in particular, are worried about security, issues of extremism and Daesh, ISIS and so on or be that the Iranian influence. In that sense it’s a positive message. The issue is how exactly are you going to help if you are going to withdraw And secondly, there are other issues in the Middle East as well which needs to be resolved. The Arab Israeli conflict has been going on for 70 years.” Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said.

It’s the first visit for Mike Pompeo to Cairo since Trump appointed him secretary of State. He will continue his Middle East tour in the Gulf until Jan. 15.