Iraq: US withdrawal from Syria to be ‘gradual, steady’

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said the U.S. troops will pull out of Syria “gradually and steadily”, according to an Iraqi government statement.

During his meeting with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in capital Baghdad, Pompeo said the U.S. troops withdrawal from Syria will happen in coordination and cooperation with the Iraqi government.

The statement also said Abdul-Mahdi highlighted the importance of U.S. and Iraq relations in energy and economy, especially the fight against Daesh terrorist group in the meeting.

Pompeo on Wednesday made a surprise visit to Iraq.

During his visit, Pompeo met Iraqi President Barham Salih, Abdul-Mahdi, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbusi and other top officials and political figures.

Later, he travelled to Erbil and met with Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and former head of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Pompeo is currently conducting a tour of the Mideast aimed at reassuring Washington’s regional allies of continued U.S. support despite a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria.

The U.S. secretary of state was in Jordan on Tuesday for the first leg of his regional tour, which will also take him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

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