08:35 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iraqi President Barham Salih has expressed hope in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria will contribute to the conflict settlement and will not result in a new escalation of violence, Salih’s press service said.

    "His Excellency confirmed that the withdrawal should be a catalyst for peace based on respect for the rights of the Syrians and their independent decision, and not to start a new phase of violence and interventions," the press service said.

    READ MORE: Iraqi President to Visit Damascus First Time Since Start of Syrian War — Source

    During the conversation, Salih also stressed that "Iraq should not bear the burden of the international and regional tensions," and the country’s sovereignty and national interests must be safeguarded.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File)
    Pompeo, in turn, reaffirmed US commitment to continue counterterrorism fight in Iraq.

    The talks come after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday that the United States began the pullout of its forces from Syria. She noted that the troops' withdrawal did not mean the end of the coalition's fight against the Daesh terror group. The statement followed President Donald Trump’s remark over Daesh defeat in Syria.


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    troop withdrawal, US troop withdrawal, Barham Salih, Sarah Sanders, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Syria, Iraq, US
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