Pompeo said he raised the so-called Abraham Accords, a U.S.-brokered agreement to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel, with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at a meeting at the U.S. State Department.
Just last month, The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran.
Saudi Arabia and the US agreed that Iran’s destabilizing behavior must be countered and deterred, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said.
Speaking after participating in the first US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue, Prince Faisal bin Farhan saeed: “The Iranian regime continues to provide financial and material support to terrorist groups including in Yemen where the Houthis have launched 300 Iranian-made ballistic missiles and drones toward the Kingdom.”
The dialogue, which aims to strengthen the historic relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, took place for the first time on Wednesday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prince Faisal bin Farhan participated in the talks.
At a joint press conference, Pompeo also agreed that Iran’s threatening behavior needed to be reined in and said it “threatens Saudi Arabia’s security and disrupts global commerce.”
Pompeo took the occasion to announce that the US is preparing to acquire a 26 hectare site for a new US embassy in Riyadh.
The embassy, along with the recent opening of a new consulate in Jeddah and the ongoing construction of a new consulate in Dhahran represents a US investment of over $1 billion, he said.
Prince Faisal added that he looked forward to expanding Saudi ties with the US, enhancing institutional cooperation and elevating “our partnership to new highs.”
"We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalizing its relationships as well, and we want to thank them for the assistance they've had in the success of the Abraham Accords so far," Pompeo said, adding that he hopes the nation will encourage Palestinian leaders and/ or the Palestinian Authority to return to negotiations with Israel.
"They reflect a changing dynamic in the region, in which countries rightly recognize the need for regional cooperation to counter Iranian influence and generate prosperity," Pompeo said. The United States is trying to persuade more Gulf countries to strike similar accords with Israel, in step with UAE and Bahrain agreements at the Sept. 15 ceremony in Washington.
Riyadh has quietly acquiesced to the UAE and Bahrain deals – though it has stopped short of endorsing them formally – and has signaled it is not ready to take action itself.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and site of its holiest shrines, drew up a 2002 initiative under which Arab nations offered to normalize ties with Israel in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.