Mike Pompeo, pictured here on Capitol Hill in May 2017, has described the Iran nuclear deal as 'disastrous.' REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
CAIRO – 29 September 2018: The U.S. Administration plans to hold a summit in January to launch the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) comprising nine Arab states: Egypt, Jordan, the United States, and member states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs in the Near East Bureau Timothy A. Lenderking told Emirati newspaper The National earlier this week that the goal of this alliance is to stand against terrorism and the Iranian threat hindering the achieving of stability in the Middle East.
The U.S. official added that MESA can be considered an Arab NATO, and that he went on a tour in gulf states over the past three weeks to coordinate for the summit.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a meeting with his counterparts of prospective alliance members on Friday in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to discuss going ahead with the project.
Pompeo stressed the importance of defeating the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in addition to ending conflicts in Syria and Yemen, establishing security in Iraq, and terminating the Iranian “malignant activity” in the region.
Lenderking explained to the newspaper that MESA’s agenda consists of confronting Iran, cybercrimes, attacks on infrastructure, and coordinating conflict management from Syria to Yemen.
MESA is the outcome of an agreement by the leaders of GCC countries comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United States in the 2017 Riyadh summit to convene every year to discuss matters of mutual interests on the political, economic, and security planes.