Pompeo meets Saudi leaders, agreement on 'de-escalation' in Yemen

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh tweeted that Pompeo and the crown prince had agreed on the need for a continued de-escalation in Yemen and adherence to agreements made last month at talks in Sweden.
Tuesday 15/01/2019
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is received by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, center, at the Royal Court, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Monday, January 14, 2019. (AP)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is received by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, center, at the Royal Court, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Monday, January 14, 2019. (AP)

RIYADH - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince in Riyadh on Monday, but will cut short the rest of his Middle East trip to attend a family funeral, a State Department spokesman said.

Pompeo will return home after meetings in Oman instead of travelling on to Kuwait, deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said. U.S. officials said the death was in the family of his wife, who accompanied him on the trip and will return with him.

The top U.S. diplomat met separately with King Salman for 35 minutes and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for another 45 minutes, according to reporters travelling with him.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh tweeted that Pompeo and the crown prince had agreed on the need for a continued de-escalation in Yemen and adherence to agreements made last month at talks in Sweden to end a nearly four-year civil war between Yemen's Saudi-backed government and the Iranian-aligned Houthis.

"On #Yemen, agreed on need for continued de-escalation and adherence to Sweden agreements, especially cease-fire and redeployment in #Hudaydah," the U.S. embassy in Riyadh tweeted after a meeting between Pompeo and the prince.

The Iranian-aligned Houthi and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government agreed during peace talks in Sweden in December on a ceasefire in Hodeidah and to withdraw troops from the strategic Red Sea port city. 

(With Reuters)