US Secretary of State Pompeo: ‘US Fully Supports Israel’s Right to Defend Itself’

New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to criticize Israel for the killing of dozens of unarmed Palestinian protesters during weeks of rallies on the Israel-Gaza border as he concluded his diplomatic tour in the Middle East.

After stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel, Pompeo headed to Jordan’s capital, Amman, where he held talks with Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s minister of foreign affairs, on Monday.

At a press conference after the meeting, Pompeo was asked if the US took a position on the recent protests at the Gaza-Israel border, in which nearly 50 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire.

Pompeo, who was confirmed at the top US diplomat last week, replied:

While relations between Israel and the US are at their closest in decades, the Palestinian leadership has boycotted the White House since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December.

For his part, the Jordanian Minister Safadi pointed to the lack of progress towards a two-state solution as one of the major destabilizing factors in the Middle East.

Pompeo said Washington understands any solution will be settled by Israel and Palestine, but is working to push the parties to the negotiating table.

Source: Palestine Chronicle