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Egypt's El-Sisi to receive US Secretary of State Pompeo for talks in Cairo

mike pompeo
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is set to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Cairo Thursday, as part of the latter's visit to Egypt on a Middle East tour.

Pompeo is set to hold a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry after a meeting in Cairo.

The US Secretary of State will meet a number of Egyptian officials during his visit, including Egyptian General Intelligence Service Director Abbas Kamel.

Pompeo embarked on the eight-country tour Tuesday, starting with Jordan. The tour is expected to focus on Syria, Iran and Yemen as well as US bilateral relations with Arab countries.

Pompeo made an unannounced stop in Baghdad and Irbil in Iraq Wednesday.

In Cairo, Pompeo will meet with Egyptian officials to discuss economic and energy cooperation as well as major regional issues including Iran, Gaza and counterterrorism, the US State Department said.

While in the Egyptian capital, Pompeo will also deliver a speech on the US’s “commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East.”

Pompeo plans stops in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

In Manama, Pompeo will hold talks on a proposed the Middle East Strategic Alliance that would aim at countering Iran's growing influence in the region.

Pompeo will then head to Abu Dhabi, where he will urge all parties to the conflict in Yemen to abide by peace agreements reached at UN-brokered talks in Sweden last month.

The UAE is member of a Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Pompeo will then visit Doha for talks on regional issues and the importance of Gulf unity in countering Iran.

Another major stop will be in Riyadh, where Pompeo will meet with Saudi officials to discuss Yemen, Iran and Syria. Pompeo will also seek an update on the investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October has strained Saudi relations with Washington.

Pompeo will conclude his tour with stops in Muscat, Oman and Kuwait City where he also plans to underscore the importance of strategic unity between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.