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Pompeo postpones Ukraine trip after attack on US embassy in Iraq

Iraqi protesters raided the US embassy compound in Baghdad [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 January, 2020

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Pompeo postponed a trip to Ukraine, the country at the heart of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, after an attack on the American embassy in Iraq.
The breach of the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad has prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries.

Pompeo was to arrive in Ukraine late Thursday in his first visit to the country at the center of President Donald Trump's impeachment, then on to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus.

He delayed the trip "to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Wednesday. She said he intends to reschedule soon.

In Baghdad, Iran-backed militiamen withdrew from the US Embassy compound after two days of clashes with American security forces.

The US has sent hundreds of additional troops to the Middle East to increase security in the volatile aftermath of the embassy attack and as tensions with Iran rise.

In Kyiv, Pompeo was to meet Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose 25 July phone call with Trump triggered the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump's impeachment.

In that call, and through aides at other times, Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate potential 2020 election rival Joe Biden, his son, Hunter, and a discredited theory that Ukrainians and Democrats colluded to influence the 2016 election.

Pompeo also planned to meet Ukrainian religious, civic and business leaders to discuss human rights, investment and economic and political reform, the department said before the postponement.

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