Pompeo urges Iraqi PM Mahdi to address protesters’ ‘legitimate grievances’

Iraqi riot police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters during ongoing protests in central Baghdad, Iraq, on November 9, 2019. (AP)

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has in a phone call urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to address protesters’ “legitimate grievances,” said State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus.

“Secretary Pompeo emphasized that peaceful public demonstrations are a fundamental element of all democracies and deplored the death toll among the protesters as a result of the Government of Iraq’s crackdown and use of lethal force, as well as the reports of kidnapped protesters.

“Secretary Pompeo urged Prime Minister Abddul Mahdi to take immediate steps to address the protesters’ legitimate grievances by enacting reforms and tackling corruption.”

According to Ortagus, “Pompeo reaffirmed the United States’ enduring commitment to a strong, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq, as outlined in our bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement.”

He also pledged to continue to support the Iraqi security forces in fighting the ISIS, said Ortagus.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:05 - GMT 11:05