Mike Pompeo meets with Palestinian officials, including President Abbas and security chief Majed Faraj to discuss diplomatic matters; talks mark successful bid to establish a back channel with the new administration, amid fears that Palestinians are falling behind in the diplomatic race for Trump’s heart, particularly given his repeated statements that it lies with Israel.

Elior Levy, Itamar Eichner, Elior Levy|Published:  15.02.17

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike Pompeo, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, Palestinian officials told Ynet, confirming a report from the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

Palestinian security chief Majed Faraj was also present at the meeting which, according to the officials, was positive and serious and touched upon diplomatic matters.

CIA director Mike Pompeo (Photo: MCT)

CIA director Mike Pompeo (Photo: MCT)

 

Pompeo was on a visit to the region last week, arriving at Saudi Arabia and Turkey among others.

The meeting marks the first of its kind between an American official and Abbas since the Trump administration entered the White House.

Throughout recent weeks, the Palestinians have been approaching every avenue through which to establish a back channel with the new US government in order to begin any kind dialogue, amid fears that they were falling behind in the diplomatic race for Trump’s heart, particularly given his repeated statements that it lies with Israel.

Palestinians have also sought to open the lines of communication ever since Trump expressed his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a powerful symbolic move that would potentially torpedo Palestinian stated claims to at least the eastern half of the city.

During his visit to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Pompeo dealt primarily with ways to counter the growing threat of ISIS and how to restore stability to Syria, devastated by the ongoing civil war.

Ynet