US Secretary Mike Pompeo meets with King Salman at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday. Reuters/ Jacquelyn Martin
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Monday with the king of Saudi Arabia as he sought to coordinate with allies over soaring tensions with Iran.
On a day trip scheduled after Iran shot down a US drone, Pompeo flew into the Red Sea city of Jeddah and met with King Salman at his palace.
"You are a dear friend," the king told Pompeo as he shook hands with the top US diplomat and his aides.
Pompeo is later due to meet the powerful crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, before flying for talks in the United Arab Emirates, US officials said.
Both Saudi and Emirati leaders advocate a tough US approach against regional rival Iran, whose downing of the unmanned drone prompted President Donald Trump to order a military strike before changing his mind.
Pompeo, speaking to reporters as he left Washington, called Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents".
"We'll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition," Pompeo said.
He said the United States sought a coalition "not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and that is prepared to push back against the world's largest state sponsor of terror.”
But the hawkish US stance has drawn limited support among its allies in Europe, which still support a denuclearisation deal negotiated under former president Barack Obama from which Trump pulled out last year, triggering tensions.
Iran says that the US drone encroached its airspace — a charge that Washington denies — and accuses Washington of waging economic warfare by unilaterally imposing sanctions, including trying to stop all its oil exports.
The US pointman on Iran, Brian Hook, on Monday held his own talks in Oman, which has often served as a go-between for Washington and Tehran.
Pompeo added the Middle East stops on his way to a previously scheduled visit to India.
President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, but he also held out hope that implicit US threats to use force will yield talks with the Islamic Republic as the Pentagon
The United States launched cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network this week after Tehran downed an American surveillance drone, US media reported on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump approved military strikes on Friday against Iran in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned $130-million surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching the attacks, the New York Times said.
Key stakeholders in child welfare have strongly recommended a more socially-driven and collaborative approach to create community awareness to ensure child safety.
Hazza Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut who is preparing to take off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept.25, said, “This mission is a great responsibility upon me, through which and the other future missions, I will do my best to help enrich science and knowledge with scientific experiments that will be conducted on the ISS in partnership with the competent teams from different countries.”
Dr Abdulaziz Almusallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute of Heritage (SIH), revealed details of the 19th edition of the Sharjah International Narrator Forum at a press conference organised by the institute on Tuesday morning in the SIH offices. The forum is expected to commence on Sept.24 at the Sharjah Expo Center and will last for three days.