Pompeo’s Trip to Baghdad Focused on Protection of US Forces


Basnews English 08/05/2019 – 11:28 Published in Iraq ERBIL — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad overnight on Tuesday where he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and other top officials, reportedly focusing on the safety of the US forces in the country.

“We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it’s able to adequately protect Americans in their country,” Pompeo told reporters after meeting with Abdul-Mahdi.Prior to his arrival in Baghdad, Pompeo said he will also deliver a message to Baghdad, that Washington is concerned about Iraq’s sovereignty because of increasing Iranian activities.

“I wanted to go to Baghdad to speak with the leadership there, to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation,” Pompeo told reporters en route to Baghdad.“We don’t want anyone interfering in their country, certainly not by attacking another nation inside of Iraq.”

The visit comes only two days after the US announced it was deploying aircraft carrier strike group an bombers to the Middle East to deter the Iranian threat. On the issue, secretary of state said they wanted to have enough forces in the region to ensure the interests of the United States are protected.

“The message that we’ve sent to the Iranians, I hope, puts us in a position where we can deter and the Iranians will think twice about attacking American interests,” Pompeo said, noting that the U.S. intelligence was “very specific” about “attacks that were imminent.”

Pompeo also said he spoke to Iraqi officials about their energy and infrastructural needs, especially in the electricity, oil and natural gas sectors. He said they discussed ways to quickly move forward with projects that could help improve the Iraqi lives, as reported by Reuters. www.mesop.de