Pompeo to cut short Middle East tour to attend funeral

Riyadh (AFP) –


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will cut short his Middle East tour and head home early to attend a family funeral, an official said on Monday.

"Secretary Pompeo will return to the United States after his meetings in Muscat, Oman," State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

"This curtailment of travel is required so that the Pompeo family may attend a family funeral."

Pompeo is currently in Saudi Arabia as part of an extensive eight-day trip to the Middle East, which included stops in Amman, Cairo, Manama, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

The curtailment means that Pompeo will not visit Kuwait after he visits Muscat later Monday.

The top US diplomat looks forward to visiting the country "at an agreeable time in the near future", Palladino added.

Pompeo held talks on Monday with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday, during his second politically sensitive visit to the kingdom since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder sparked global outrage.