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US embassy closure 'dangerous for region', warns Iraq FM 

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo(R) meets with Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC on 19 August 2020. [MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo(R) meets with Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC on 19 August 2020. [MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Those who believe victory will be achieved in Iraq through the US’ withdrawal from the country are living an illusion, Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, warned yesterday.

Such a decision would be a “wrong one taken at the wrong time and the wrong place,” he continued.

His words come after the US threatened to withdraw from Iraq as a result of continued attacks on the Green Zone in the country’s capital Baghdad, where Washington’s embassy lies.

Describing the US move as “dangerous”, the Iraqi official said that there was a “possibility that the American withdrawal from Baghdad will lead to other [embassy] withdrawals.”

“Washington’s decision to withdraw its embassy from Baghdad does not serve the two countries’ [US and Iraq] interests,” he reiterated.

The official pointed out that it was the  Iraqi government’s duty “to abide by the constitution and international laws, and to ensure protection for diplomatic missions in Iraq.”

Hussein’s remarks came days after a group of 25 ambassadors and charges d’affaires in Iraq released a statement in support of the Iraqi government and stability in the country.

The foreign diplomats — including ambassadors from the US, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Canada —  expressed their “deep concern” at the rise in the number of attacks against diplomatic missions in Iraq.

Last week, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, told the Iraqi President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that his government would close its embassy in Baghdad. His vows came after a number of rocket and mortar attacks on the Green Zone, which left six civilians dead.

READ: Iraq pledges to protect diplomats after US embassy shutdown threat

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