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Pompeo, Iraqi parliament speaker agree on need to lower tensions - U.S. State Dept

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on human rights in Iran at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraq’s Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi on Friday and they agreed on the need to lower tensions in Iraq and the region in the wake of a U.S. air strike that killed Iran’s most powerful general, the U.S. State Department said.

“The secretary expressed his appreciation for al-Halbousi’s continued partnership with the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “Secretary Pompeo and Speaker al-Halbousi agreed on the importance of reducing tensions in Iraq and the region.”

Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama