Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo sought Wednesday to bolster a united front against Iran during a Middle East tour that will include talks with key ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israeli elections, France24 reported quoting AFP.
The US secretary of state kicked off his regional tour in Kuwait where he met Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on the first stop of a trip that will also take him to Israel and Lebanon.
Pompeo told reporters on the flight from the United States that he would discuss "strategic dialogue" and the need to combat "the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran".
He will also push for a greater role for the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a US-sponsored Arab NATO aimed at uniting Washington's Arab allies against Tehran.
After Kuwait Pompeo will fly to Israel where an election campaign is in its final weeks with Netanyahu locked in a close battle with centrist rivals.
While Washington insists it is not interfering in Israeli politics, his visit is seen as a sign of support for Netanyahu, who is struggling to keep his grip on power as he faces allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust ahead of the April 9 polls.
"I'm going to Israel because of the important relationship we have," Pompeo said.
"Leaders will change in both countries over time. That relationship matters no matter who the leaders are."
No meetings with Netanyahu's opponents are scheduled, and the secretary of state will not meet with representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
"They'd have to want to talk to us," Pompeo said of the Palestinian officials.
"That'd be a good start."