Pompeo kicks off his visit to Israel, Sudan, Bahrain, UAE

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo kicked off his four-country trip starting on Sunday, the US State Department said in a statement.

Pompeo will travel to Israel, Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from August 23 to 28, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pompeo’s first stop is Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on regional security issues and “establishing and deepening Israel’s relationships in the region,” according to the statement.

During his stay in Sudan, Pompeo will meet with Sudanese leaders to “discuss continued US support for the civilian-led transitional government and express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship.”

The top US diplomat will then travel to Bahrain and the UAE.

Pompeo’s visit comes after Israel and the UAE agreed to the full normalization of relations earlier this month, which was brokered by the United States.

According to the deal, Israel agrees to suspend its plan to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

US President Donald Trump, who first touted the deal on Twitter, said earlier that the two sides would have an “official” signing ceremony at the White House in the next few weeks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last week that the peace deal between the UAE and Israel “is a stab in the Palestinians’ back.”

Abbas called on all Arab countries to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative, launched in 2002, which stipulates that the Arabs can only normalize relations with Israel after the Palestinian issue is resolved.