Pompeo urges end to Mideast rivalries to confront Iran

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Thursday (January 10th) for an end to Middle East rivalries to roll back Tehran's influence and vowed to "expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria, AFP reported.

"It is time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region," Pompeo said in a speech in Cairo during a Middle East tour to reassure allies about US plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

The US "will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria and will bolster efforts "to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people", he said.

Pompeo insisted that US troops will leave Syria, saying that President Donald Trump's "decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that. We will withdraw our forces, our uniformed forces, from Syria and continue America's crushing campaign".

Washington's top diplomat arrived in Cairo late Wednesday on his longest trip since taking office last year which has already taken him to Jordan, Baghdad and Erbil.

The whistle-stop tour will also take Pompeo to Gulf countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

As he arrived in Egypt, the State Department described the country as a "steadfast partner in the anti-terror fight, and a courageous voice in denouncing the radical Islamist ideology that fuels it".

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