'Pompeo discussed countering Iranian threat during UAE visit'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on Monday. — AFP

ABU DHABI — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday discussed countering the threat from Iran in the region with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, the US Mission in the UAE said on Monday.

A senior US State Department official earlier said the United States is building a coalition with its allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes by having "eyes on all shipping", following attacks on oil tankers that Washington has blamed on Iran.

Pompeo arrived in the UAE capital after a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have jointly called for "diplomatic solutions" to ease soaring tensions with Iran.

"We call on Iran to halt any further actions which threaten regional stability, and urge diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions," said the statement released by the United States on Monday.

The four countries renewed concern about an attack by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militia on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia and recent sabotage of ships which Washington blamed on Iran.

"These attacks threaten the international waterways that we all rely on for shipping. Ships and their crews must be allowed to pass through international waters safely," the four countries said of the Gulf incidents. — Agencies