Pompeo urges Iraqi PM al-Mahdi to address protesters’ “legitimate grievances”

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has in a phone call urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-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 al-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.

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