US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delays his trip to Morocco

FILE PHOTO:U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan are greeted by Assistant Foreign Minister For North and South American Affairs Reda Habeeb Ibrahim Zaki and Charge d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, Tom Goldberger, as they arrive at Cairo International Airport, Egypt, January 9, 2019./REUTERS

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has delayed and cut in half his trip to Morocco. In an earlier communication, the State Department announced that Pompeo would be in Morocco December 4-6 to meet King Mohammed VI. Instead, the secretary has shortened his trip to one day, Thursday, December 5.

Pompeo has been attending the NATO Leaders Meeting with President Donald Trump in London. Instead of travelling to Morocco , he moved forward a day of meetings in Portugal to Wednesday, December 4, and delayed his Morocco trip by one day.

In Portugal, Pompeo is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A former American ambassador, Gerald Feierstein, highlighted the relationship between Morocco and the US in an interview with state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press ahead of Pompeo’s trip. “The U.S. clearly continues to look to Morocco to help advance important regional objectives, including combating violent extremism and promoting a just and sustainable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.”