Secretary Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Ankara, Jerusalem, and Brussels from October 16-19 to meet with key leaders and discuss long-standing alliances. On October 17, Secretary Pompeo participated in a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey to discuss the situation in northeast Syria.
The Secretary then traveled to Jerusalem on October 18 where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss developments in Syria and the continued need to counter the Iranian regime’s destabilizing behavior in the region. Later that day, the Secretary traveled to Brussels, Belgium, where he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Transatlantic security issues and U.S. goals for the upcoming NATO Foreign Ministerial and Leaders Meeting.
In Brussels, Secretary Pompeo said:
"We are driven by UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to make sure that we get the outcomes that the United States and, frankly, most of the member-nations at the UN have agreed is the right outcome to get the proper political resolution in broader Syria – not just in the northeast, but more broadly.
"You have to remember, prior to this administration taking office, over half a million people were killed in Syria, millions and millions of people displaced, all of this before President Trump took office. We see the burden that that placed on our NATO ally, Turkey, with now some two or three or four million displaced persons inside of Turkey. That’s an enormous burden. Europe needs to provide – to seriously consider how to respond to this threat, this challenge that’s presented by migration. We are hopeful that what Vice President Pence achieved yesterday will be the beginning of leading to the resolution of all these greater challenges that are presented throughout Syria, and more broadly, the instability this creates throughout the Middle East."
Read more about the Secretary's trip here.