US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday urged Iraq’s designated prime minister to protect US troops and meet grievances of a months-long protest movement ahead of a parliamentary confidence vote.
In the first substantive US comment on Mohammad Allawi since he was named on February 1 as a consensus candidate, Pompeo told Allawi by telephone that the United States backed a “strong, sovereign and prosperous” Iraq.
Pompeo “stressed Iraq’s obligation to protect US and coalition diplomats, forces and facilities,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Pleased to speak with new #Iraq PM-designate Mohammed Allawi. I welcomed his promise to hold early elections, reaffirmed our commitment to Iraq, urged an end to violence, and called for accountability and urgent action to address protesters’ legitimate demands.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 23, 2020
Pompeo spoke to Allawi about “the urgency with which Iraq’s next government must put an end to the killing of protesters, seek justice for those killed and wounded, and address their legitimate grievances,” she said.
Allawi has called a vote of confidence in parliament on Monday ahead of a deadline, after earlier skepticism that he could form and win approval for a government.