CIA chief Mike holds talks with Saudi king in Riyadh

Monitoring Desk

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Monday held talks with Mike Pompeo, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in capital Riyadh, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Discussions tackled bilateral relations and recent developments in the region, the SPA reported.

Monday’s meeting was also attended by the king’s son, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who also serves as the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, along with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, intelligence chief Kh-alid al-Humaidan and royal court chief Khalid al-Issa.

Earlier this month, Pompeo said he’d sent a letter to Gen. Qassem Saleimani, the head of Iran’s elite fighting Quds Force, warning him that the US would hold Tehran accountable for any attacks it conducted on American interests in Iraq, AP reports.

Pompeo is the first high-level U.S. official to visit the region since U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 6 recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, drawing angry reactions from across the Arab and Muslim world.

At an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held last week in Istanbul, participants responded to the U.S. move by formally recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine dispute, with Palestinians hoping East Jerusalem — as the capital of Palestinian state.

As the Saudi administration continues to dodge adopting a firm stance against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman refused to mention Jerusalem during a meeting with an American delegation on the eve of Trump’s declaration, according to a report published by Foreign Policy.