10:33 GMT07 May 2021
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    MOSCOW(Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Wednesday that Washington will coordinate with Baghdad the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, which is planned to be carried out gradually, the Iraqi prime minister's press service said.

    "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.

    READ MORE: Turkey Calls for Joint Control With Russia and Iran of US Exit From Syria

    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.

    ​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.

    READ MORE: Can't Win: Trump's Blurred Syria Withdrawal Angers Turks and Kurds Alike

    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.

    READ MORE: Bolton Slams Erdogan's Article in NY Times on US Withdrawal From Syria — Reports

    troops withdrawal, Mike Pompeo, Syria, Iraq, US
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