WORLD Iraqi FM meets US officials after Pompeo's surprise visit over Iran issue

WORLD

Iraqi FM meets US officials after Pompeo's surprise visit over Iran issue

Xinhua

06:54, May 09, 2019

pompeo xinhua.JPG

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (File photo: Xinhua)

BAGHDAD, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali Hakim on Wednesday met with a US delegation, one day after the surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iraq which came amid the rising tension between the United States and Iran.

A statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Ali Hakim held a meeting with US Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield and the charge d'affaires of the US Embassy in Baghdad Joey Hood, during which the two sides discussed means to boost ties between Baghdad and Washington.

Hakim said that he is looking forward to promoting the efforts that aimed at resolving regional crises and to uproot terrorism, the statement said.

The visit of the US diplomats came within the framework of maintaining high-level communication between the two countries to discuss different issues and regional challenges, and to find sustainable solutions to achieve stability in the Middle East, according to the statement.

Late on Tuesday, Pompeo paid a short and unannounced visit to Baghdad and held separate meetings with Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Speaking after his meetings with Iraqi leaders, Pompeo told reporters that he made the surprise visit to Iraq because Iran "is escalating their activity" in the region following the US move to ban Iranian oil exports.

Pompeo's visit came amid the tense situation in the region after US President Donald Trump decided not to reissue the sanctions waivers for major importers who continue buying Iran's oil when they expired in early May, in a bid to pile up pressure on Iran.

The United States has also increased its military activities in the region recently, citing a threat of Iranian "attack."

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