[size=36]Pompeo reveals a special secret for the Iraqis ... and what is happening in the closed rooms[/size]
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, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that all Iraqi leaders have told him on special councils that they support the American military presence in their country, despite public calls for the departure of American soldiers from Iraq.
Last week, the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution demanding to "end the presence" of foreign forces in the country, after the air strike in which the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Organization, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, near Baghdad, were killed.
Pompeo, whose ministry often refuses to release details of his contacts, said what he had heard during talks with about 50 Iraqi officials since the beginning of this month ran counter to what they publicly announced.
In response to a question during a symposium at Stanford University, the American minister said: "They will not say this publicly. But they in private councils all welcome the presence of America there and its anti-terrorist campaign."
Pompeo stressed that "American soldiers are working to ensure that the extremist ISIS group does not return and provide the Iraqis with an opportunity to gain the sovereignty and independence that most Iraqis want."
At the colloquium, in which former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice participated, Pompeo said that he "spoke with leaders of all affiliations in Iraq, including leaders of the Shiite majority."
The United States assassinated Soleimani on January 3, after a series of missile attacks targeting the US military.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose economic sanctions on Iraq if his authorities decide to remove the 5,200 US soldiers.
Two Iraqi officials told AFP that the US President warned that his country would freeze the Iraqi government's account in the Federal Reserve in New York, which would not have catastrophic repercussions on Mesopotamia's economy.
This position comes despite Trump's repeated assertion that the American military deployment is very costly and that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the ensuing bloodshed was a mistake.
Pompeo stressed that the United States is still interested in reducing its military deployment in the long run.
He said: "Where there is a possibility to reduce dependence on treasury resources and reduce the number of American lives at risk, we will do so."
Pompeo rejected last week an invitation from resigned Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to send a delegation to discuss the withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq. Ended 29 / A 43