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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on an expansive tour of the Gulf and wider Middle East this week. His task is to clarify President Donald Trump's often-confusing interests in the region.
We discuss in this week's Beyond the Headlines.
Last month, President Trump tweeted that he would pull out of Syria within 30 days, sending shockwaves around not just the region, but in his own administration. Since then, the White House has said there is timetable on US withdrawal. The message keeps changing.
The National's Hashem Osserian explains how Pompeo's tour will influence the region going forward on Syria. We also ask Cinzia Bianco of Gulf State Analytics, about what else is on Pompeo's agenda.