Trump's security adviser to visit UAE 'this week'

Dubai (AFP) –


US national security adviser John Bolton will this week travel to the United Arab Emirates for talks, the US embassy in Abu Dhabi said Monday.

The US embassy in the UAE on Monday sent an invitation to AFP to attend a roundtable with Bolton which would take place "this week", but no date was given.

Bolton's planned meeting comes as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the US have increasingly sought to isolate Iran, and it coincides with key meetings planned in Saudi Arabia.

Regional tensions have spiked since Donald Trump's administration reimposed sanctions against Iran after unilaterally pulling out of a multilateral 2015 nuclear accord signed with the Islamic republic.

Regional summits are planned on Thursday and Friday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as Riyadh seeks to further isolate its regional rival Tehran.

The Trump administration has ordered non-essential diplomatic staff out of Iraq, citing threats from Iranian-backed Iraqi armed groups, and sent an aircraft carrier and heavy B-52 bombers to the region.

On Friday, Trump announced the deployment of some 1,500 more soldiers to the Middle East, while his administration the same day bypassed Congress to sell $8.1 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies.

But the US president has appeared to dial back his hawkishness towards Tehran since then, saying on Monday his government does not seek "regime change".

"I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal. I think... there's a possibility for that to happen," Trump said during a visit to Japan.