Pompeo pays surprise visit to Iraq

CNC
Added On January 11, 2019

INTRO
 
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday paid a surprise visit to Iraq to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation.
 
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During the visit, Pompeo met with the Iraqi President, Prime Minister, Speaker and Foreign Minister.
   
A statement from the Iraqi Presidential office said the president discussed with Pompeo the latest developments on the political and security situations in the region.
   
Iraqi President Barham Salih stressed the need "to decrease instability in the Arab and regional arenas and to strengthen international and regional cooperation to end extremism and defeat terrorism once and for all".
   
For his part, Pompeo said "Iraq is an important strategic partner to the U.S. in political, economic and security fields".
   
Pompeo also expressed his country's readiness to "invest and contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq, especially its liberated cities."
     
The two sides also discussed the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
   
According to media reports, Pompeo also met with U.S. troops during his the visit.
   
Later in the day, Pompeo flew to the city of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region, where he held meetings with senior Kurdish leaders.
 
Pompeo's visit to Iraq is part of his Middle East tour in a bid to reassure allies about the U.S. commitment to the region.