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World U.S. to host Iran-focused global summit next month in Poland

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to board the plane leaving Egypt as he departs for Manama, Bahrain at Cairo International Airport in Cairo on Jan. 11, 2019.

POOL/AFP/Getty Images

The United States plans to jointly host a global conference focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran, next month in Poland, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

The meeting will take place in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14, it said in a statement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday that the meeting would “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

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Pompeo, who is on an eight-day visit to the Middle East, said the meeting would “bring together dozens of countries from all around the world, from Asia, from Africa, from Western Hemisphere countries, Europe too, the Middle East of course.”

Pompeo has said during the tour that the United States is “redoubling” its efforts to put pressure on Iran and sought to convince allies that it is committed to fighting Islamic State despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

Trump last year withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and moved to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Other partners in the deal - including Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - have sought to keep the agreement from unraveling, although in a shift earlier this week, the European Union moved to impose some sanctions on Iran.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in a statement that while his country supported the EU’s efforts to maintain the nuclear deal, the agreement “does not stop Iran from activities destabilizing the region” and he hoped the conference would bring closer the EU and U.S. positions.

He said more than 70 countries were invited to the conference, including all EU members.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement there were strong shared interests in Middle East stability.

“The ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region,” it said.

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On his Middle East tour, Pompeo is trying to shore up support in the region on a number of fronts, from the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria to the rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar to the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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