October 9, 2019 / 1:34 AM / a month ago

U.S.'s Pompeo urges Iraq's prime minister to tackle protesters’ grievances

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during his speech at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to “exercise maximum restraint” and “address protesters’ grievances” after more than 100 people were killed in recent demonstrations, the State Department said on Tuesday.

“The secretary lamented the tragic loss of life over the past few days and urged the Iraqi government to exercise maximum restraint,” the department said in a statement.

Pompeo encouraged Abdul Mahdi “to take immediate steps to address the protesters’ grievances by enacting reforms and tackling corruption,” it said.

The U.S. statement said Pompeo and Abdul Mahdi spoke “recently.”

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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