RT – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the new ruler of Oman on Friday. The Gulf Arab country has close ties with both Washington and Tehran, and has previously provided a back channel for talks between the adversaries.
Pompeo’s stop in Oman to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said is the highest-level US visit to the country since he was selected as successor to longtime ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died on January 10 after 50 years in power, AP reports.
Oman supported the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran and world powers, from which the US withdrew under President Donald Trump.
Like other Gulf Arab countries, Oman is concerned that rising tensions in the region and the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran could harm tourism and economic growth, and impact the flow of oil through the narrow Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.