By Idris Okuducu
ISTANBUL (AA) - Iraqi president and U.S. secretary of state discussed cooperation in fight against Daesh/ISIS terror group over the phone, according to an official statement announced on Sunday.
Barham Salih and Mike Pompeo “agreed to have further joint cooperation and coordination to tackle terrorism to prevent the resurgence of ISIS jeopardizing international peace and security,” read a statement issued by the Iraqi Presidency.
Saturday’s phone conversation also addressed the latest developments on security and politics in the region and across the globe.
The two politicians also stressed the need to protect Iraq's sovereign rights and respecting its independent national decisions.
The statement added that the leaders underscored “restraint for a constructive dialogue” in dealing with crises.
Additionally, Pompeo tweeted after the phone conversation.
"Iraqi President Salih and I spoke again today about the important and enduring role of the Global Coalition in the fight against ISIS. Our commitment to de-escalation stands firm," he said.
- US, Iran tension in Iraq
Earlier this month, Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.
His death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.
Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, who bestowed the country's highest honor on Soleimani last year, vowed "severe retaliation" in response to his killing.
Iran's IRGC launched more than a dozen of ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.
The tension risked the lives of Iraqi people and Iraq's sovereignty.
Therefore, the Iraqi parliament decided on Jan. 5 to end the military presence of all foreign troops in the country, including the U.S.
On Jan. 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called Pompeo to demand the U.S. to send a delegation to Iraq for establishment of a mechanism to withdraw its forces from Iraq.
However, Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State, said the withdrawal from Iraq is not in the U.S. agenda.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut