Iraq PM in call with Pompeo stresses need for de-escalation

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Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the importance of de-escalation in the region.

Abdul Mahdi received the call from the US Secretary of State on Monday, the prime minister’s Media Office posted on Facebook.

According to the US State Department, Pompeo expressed outrage at the continued assaults by Iran's armed groups targeting US facilities in Iraq, including Sunday’s rocket attack against the US Embassy, the State Department said.

“The Secretary underlined once again that these attacks demonstrate a wanton disregard for Iraqi sovereignty and a failure to rein in these dangerous armed groups,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

The Iraqi Prime Minister agreed on strengthening the Iraqi forces responsible for protecting the embassy situated in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

They also agreed on following up on investigations and procedures to prevent attacks on diplomatic missions in the future and bringing the perpetrators of the attcks to justice.

Abdul Mahdi stressed the importance of calm in the region, respect for all of Iraq’s sovereignty and decisions, and non-interference in its internal affairs.

According to the prime minister’s Media Office, Pompeo confirmed the US readiness to hold serious discussions on the presence of foreign forces in Iraq and to cooperate to achieve Iraqi sovereignty.