Pompeo urges Iraqi PM to take “immediate steps” to address protestors grievances – State Dept

WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi during which he urged him to take “immediate steps to address the protesters’ legitimate grievances by enacting reforms and tackling corruption.” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that Pompeo “emphasized that peaceful public demonstrations are a fundamental element of all democracies,” deploring “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.” Furthermore, the US top diplomat reaffirmed the US’ “enduring commitment to a strong, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq, as outlined in our bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement,” and pledged “to continue to support the Iraqi Security Forces in fighting (IS).” For his part, Pompeo tweeted that he called on the Iraqi Prime Minister during the phone call to “protect the protestors and to address their grievances.” He affirmed that the US is committed to a “strong, sovereign and prosperous Iraq for all Iraqis.” Iraq has been witnessing demonstrations since October 1. The protestors demand better living conditions, utilities and clampdown on administrative graft.

Source: Kuwait News Agency