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Iraqi Foreign Minister urges US to review decision on Embassy closure in Baghdad

ANI | Updated: Sep 30, 2020 19:59 IST

Baghdad [Iraq], September 30 (ANI/Sputnik): Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein called on the United States on Wednesday to revise its recent decision to shut down the country's embassy in the capital of Baghdad over constant missile attacks.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi officially declared the intention of a number of countries, primarily the US, to close their diplomatic missions in the Iraqi capital if rocket attacks on the so-called green zone -- a location of government buildings and embassies -- continued. According to Al-Kadhimi, western diplomats said that such a position was not aimed at Baghdad, but came because of security concerns.
"The government was not pleased with the step by the US administration to leave Baghdad ... I believe that it was a wrong decision, there is no advantage [for countries], including the US," Hussein said at a press conference.
The minister highlighted that Baghdad would continue to maintain contact with Washington in an attempt to make the latter change its mind. The ministry has discussed the situation with a number of European countries, including the United Kingdom, as well as with Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, describing its consequences as a "danger."

If the US embassy has suspended its activities, Iraq would become internationally isolated, Hussein added, noting that Baghdad considered strikes on the foreign missions as an attack toward itself.
"The protection of diplomatic missions is the government's responsibility, and it has taken all measures to fulfill it," Hussein added.
During the conference, the senior Iraqi diplomat stressed that tense relations between Tehran and Washington had a negative impact on the security situation in the country.
On September 27, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Iraqi officials, that Washington was planning to close the embassy during the next few months due to its vulnerable whereabouts. According to the newspaper, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the warning about the possible shutdown in his calls to Al-Kadhimi and Iraqi President Barham Salih. However, the US is due to retain its consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's northern Kurdistan Region.
In mid-June, the joint command of the Iraqi armed forces said that Al-Kadhimi had ordered the creation of special committees to curb strikes on the zone. (ANI/Sputnik)