"The US Secretary of State expressed his country's intention to implement this decision [on the withdrawal of US troops from Syria], gradually and in coordination with Iraq," the press service said in a statement.
Commenting on the meeting, US Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino stated that Pompeo reaffirmed the United States’ support for the efforts of Iraq’s new government to deliver stability.
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In addition to his meeting with Prime Minister Al-Mahdi, Pompeo also held talks with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Council of Representatives Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi and members of the Council of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee.
Today, @SecPompeo traveled to #Iraq, where he emphasized the U.S. commitment to Iraq and the importance of Iraq as a strategic partner in the region. Read more about the Secretary's travel: https://t.co/6hIAdXR95l pic.twitter.com/lMz4FCOi0P— Department of State (@StateDept) January 9, 2019
Another point of emphasis for the Secretary was Iraq’s energy independence, with Pompeo highlighting the resumption of oil exports via the Kirkuk oil pipeline as an important step toward this goal.
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The US top diplomat is currently making a Middle East tour in an effort to reassure US regional allies of the country's ongoing support despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
Pompeo initially planned to visit Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, with no mention of a stop in Iraq.
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