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British PM, Iraqi PM agree on need to de-escalate regional tensions - UK statement

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits British troops of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Tapa, Estonia December 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on the need to de-escalate tensions in the region when they spoke by phone on Monday, according to a UK statement.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Friday.

“The leaders discussed the need to deescalate tensions in the region following the death of Qassem Soleimani and agreed to work together to find a diplomatic way forward,” a statement from Johnson’s office said.

“The Prime Minister underlined the UK’s unwavering commitment to Iraq’s stability and sovereignty and emphasised the importance of the continued fight against the shared threat from Daesh.”

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton