Reports & News

Mon - 14 Jan 2019 - 08:31 PM ،،،

thenational


 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Yemen's Houthi rebels are failing to comply with a ceasefire agreement reached during peace talks in Sweden last month.

Speaking in Riyadh on Monday, the senior diplomat said that the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have "chosen" not to comply with the deal.

"The work that was done in Sweden on Yemen was good, but both sides [need] to honour those commitments," Mr Pompeo said following talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Today, the Iranian-backed Houthis have chosen not to do that," he said.

Mr Pompeo was visiting Riyadh as part of a Middle East tour that aimed to convey Washington's commitment to fighting ISIS and Iran despite President Donald Trump's planned withdrawal from Syria.

Mr Pompeo who is still due to visit Oman and Kuwait will reportedly cut short his tour of the Middle East due to a family death, Reuters reported.

Mr Pompeo will still visit the Omani capital of Muscat later on Monday, but will travel to Kuwait at another time "in the future," a State Department spokesman said.

"This curtailment of travel is required so that the Pompeo family may attend a family funeral," the spokesman said.

Mr Pompeo has already made stops in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Baghdad, Amman and Cairo.

Kuwait City was the last scheduled stop on Mr Pompeo's tour, where he was due to lead the third US-Kuwaiti Strategic Dialogue, focusing on defence, cybersecurity and economic ties.

In Riyadh on Monday, he discussed attempts to find a political solution in Yemen and Syria, countering threats from Iran and holding the killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to account.

Mr Pompeo told the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that his trip across the Middle East had been "good" so far, the Associated Press reported.

"I want to talk to you about a couple of places we've been. We think we learned a lot along the way that will be important going forward," he said.

The prince replied that the Saudis would "try to add more positivity, as much as we can".

The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia said both sides had agreed on the need for a redoubled effort for peace in Yemen.

"On Yemen, [Mr Pompeo and the Crown Prince] agreed on need for continued de-escalation and adherence to Sweden agreements, especially cease-fire and redeployment in Hudaydah. A comprehensive political solution is only way to the end the conflict," the US Embassy tweeted.