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Pompeo Meets With Iraqi Leaders on Unannounced Visit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Iraq's President Barham Saleh in Baghdad, Iraq, during a Middle East tour, Jan. 9, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit Wednesday to Iraq where he met with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and other officials.

Pompeo is making a week-long trip to the Middle East to reassure allies amid U.S. plans to withdraw its troops from Syria, and to seek support for increasing pressure on Iran.

In addition to talks with the Iraqi prime minister in Baghdad, Pompeo also met with President Barham Salih and Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim, as well as U.S. military personnel.

The State Department said that in a meeting with Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi, Pompeo emphasized a commitment to "addressing Iraq's security challenges, including the continuation for our security partnership with Iraqi Security Forces."

The top U.S. diplomat began his trip Tuesday in Jordan where he pledged to redouble diplomatic and commercial efforts "to put real pressure on Iran" to change what the Trump administration has said is a number of malign behaviors in the region.

Other stops on Pompeo's trip include Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.