Pompeo Meets Iraq Parliament Speaker in Surprise Visit to Baghdad

Wednesday, 9 January, 2019 –  Asharq Al-Awsat  – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Wednesday where he held talks with parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi.The US official is on an eight-nation tour of the Middle East that he kicked off in Jordan on Tuesday.

His tour comes weeks after President Donald Trump’s abrupt announcement that he will pull all 2,000 US troops from Syria, which caused alarm among US allies in the region.

Pompeo also met with American troops and Iraqi leaders to reassure them about the US pullout from Syria and warn that Iran remains a regional security threat. His tour will also see him visit Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. Trump had paid a visit to Iraq in late 2018 where he met with US troops stationed there. He did not meet any Iraqi officials, drawing criticism from Baghdad.