Los Angeles Times

Amid chaos over Trump's foreign policy, Pompeo heads to Middle East with some explaining to do

WASHINGTON - For America's top diplomat, it will be a mission like no other: seeking to build a coalition among U.S. allies against Iran, while also defending a potentially historic disengagement of Washington from the Middle East.

Starting this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will swing through at least eight countries in eight days, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and most of the Persian Gulf, in a bid to portray "America as a force for good in the region," a senior State Department official said.

His is one of two high-level U.S. officials' trips to the region since President Donald Trump abruptly announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria on Dec. 19. As Pompeo heads to Arab capitals, a parallel mission has Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, traveling to

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