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US Delegation in Baghdad to Discuss Repercussions of Protests

US Delegation in Baghdad to Discuss Repercussions of Protests

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019 - 06:45
US Democratic Representative and Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee Adam Smith meets with Iraqi President Barham Salih. (NINA)

A US House of Representatives delegation visiting Iraq on Monday said Washington is ready to provide more support to Baghdad politically, economically and militarily, and to maintain the country’s stability and the unity of its people and territorial integrity.

The delegation, headed by Democratic Representative and Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee Adam Smith, discussed with the president, parliament speaker and prime minister the latest political developments in the country, as anti-government protests enter their second month in the absence of any initiatives to solve the current crisis.

The visit comes few days after Washington has condemned deadly violence during protests in Iraq where hundreds were killed and thousands were injured.

After a meeting with Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, Smith called for the need for economic and political reforms, and to meet the demands of the demonstrators and protect them.

He said Washington supports a stable and prosperous Iraq, stressing that the presence of US troops will continue to counter terrorist threats.

After meeting President Barham Salih in Baghdad, the two parties stressed support for the plans and reform measures to achieve the demands of the people for a better life.

A presidential statement said Salih and Smith discussed the relations between Washington and Baghdad and joint cooperation to serve the interests of their people, in addition to developments in the war on terrorism.

On Sunday, Salih said that work was underway to prepare a new draft electoral law that will be completed and submitted to parliament this week with an aim to resolve the current crisis.

Anti-government protesters continued to shut down roads and government offices in Baghdad, escalating a month-long string of rallies demanding political change.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Monday during his meeting with the US delegation that Iraq was keen on building the best relations with Washington and with its Arab and regional surrounding.

“Since its formation, the government has been serious about the reform operation and will continue to implement reform plans and measures,” the PM said.

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