Washington / Budapest – Given the energy supplies from Russia, investment flow from China and increasing support for Iran, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, embarked on a tour of European countries on Monday. Secretary of State Pompeo is scheduled to visit Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium and Iceland during his visit. Also, the ‘Ministerial to Promote the Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East’, a summit which is to be held in Poland, would be the highlight of the tour. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would also be attending the summit.
Russia is the leading supplier of energy to the EU, and the United States has consistently alleged that Russia would, therefore, try to pressurise them. The United States has adopted an aggressive stance to stop the Russian energy projects and investments in Europe, as also has initiated efforts to create discord among European countries and Russian. The United States is, therefore, making attempts and offering economic benefits, agreements along with a deal for energy supply. The US Department of State has indicated that Pompeo would be focussing on these issues during the Europe tour.
Secretary Pompeo arrived at the Hungarian capital of Budapest for the first leg of his Europe tour and where he will meet Prime Minister Viktor Orban, to discuss various topics. They include stoppage of aid to the Russia-sponsored energy projects and providing more support to the NATO schemes drawn to counter the Russian aggression. A bilateral military treaty with Hungary is also expected to be inked and would include the ‘Air and Missile Defense System’, sources said. The officials from the US State Department informed that as Prime Minister Orban is a known supporter of US President Donald Trump, the tour would also stress on strengthening the ties with Hungary. Interestingly, in a recent address at Budapest, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban voiced concerns over the impact of immigrants in Europe, underscoring their threat to the European native culture and religion. Orban has, therefore, announced an extensive program featuring tax sops, provision of financial assistance and bettering of medical facilities for women and families to boost the Hungarian native population which is on a decline.
Also, China has significant investments in Hungary along with Slovakia and Poland. Controversial Chinese company Huawei, too has investments in Hungary and Poland, and the US Secretary of State is believed would likely present his position against it. Also, Slovakia has indicated extending military cooperation with the United States and proposed for a deal to buy the F-16 fighter jets. The final talks for the agreement are expected to take place during Pompeo’s visit to the Central European country.
The US-sponsored ‘Poland Summit’ or the ‘Ministerial to Promote Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East’ is considered to be an essential milestone in the US’s efforts against Iran. Over the last year, the EU has extended cooperation in various areas with Iran, to which the United States has strongly opposed. Nevertheless, some European countries have continued to assist Iran without paying much heed to the US opposition. Given the developments, the United States organising an exclusive Iran-focussed summit in Europe, itself becomes significant. US Vice President Mike Pence would also be attending the conference along with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.