US to start dialogue with Iraq in June – Pompeo
WASHINGTON (Agencies): The US has recently been withdrawing its military forces from the Middle Eastern country following a major scandal after the US Air Force killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport shortly after he arrived on a secret diplomatic mission.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the White House will start a “strategic” dialogue with the Iraqi authorities in the middle of June, adding that a variety of issues, including possible future American military deployments, will be on the agenda.
Pompeo’s statement comes as the American military continues to withdraw from the Middle Eastern nation. The US coalition transferred control over the Abu Ghraib base to the Iraqi authorities on 7 April after American soldiers vacated four other bases in Iraq in March.
The apparent military withdrawal comes months after the Iraqi parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling for an end to all foreign military deployments in the country as well as amid continuing missile attacks on US positions in Iraq. The resolution was passed in the wake of an unsanctioned US Air Force operation on the country’s soil that resulted in the assassination of high-ranking Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on 3 January.
The latter was killed wh-ile he was leaving Baghdad Airport after having arrived on a secret diplomatic mission. Washington claimed that Soleimani was planning attacks on American diplomatic missions in Iraq, but failed to give any specifics or name the source of their information.
In the months following Soleimani’s assassination, the US repeatedly dismissed the idea that it might abide by the demands of the Iraqi parliament and leave the country.
White House Press Secretary Grisham Leaving Post: Grisham has been working at the post since 1 July 2019, replacing her predecessor Sarah Sanders. The press secretary has not yet commented on her departure.
The White House has announced that Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has left her post and will be working from now on as chief of staff for First Lady Melania Trump. Her reported departure comes amid efforts by POTUS’ Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to reform the president’s communications department.
Grisham previously worked for the FLOTUS as deputy chief of staff for communications between 2017 and 2019.