US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media. File photo
The breach of the US 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 on 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.
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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, 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 July 25 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.
The sanctions, announced at the White House, marked the latest salvo in a US-Iranian confrontation that risked sliding into war a week ago with the deadly US drone attack on general Qasem Soleimani, who was by some measures the second most influential person in Iran.
The US blacklisted Iran’s energy industry in late 2018 but granted Baghdad a series of temporary waivers, hoping Iraq would wean itself off Iranian energy by partnering with US firms.
On a day trip scheduled after Iran shot down a US drone, Pompeo flew into the Red Sea city of Jeddah and met with King Salman at his palace.
Caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir confirmed Elahi's arrest, saying he was in his vehicle and "trying to flee" when he was arrested.
Social media users reacted strongly to the video and the villagers' predicament with comments slamming the concerned authorities for reneging on their promise to provide good rural connectivity.
The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein, 28, and Saudi architect Rajwa Al Saif, 29, drew a star-studded guest list including Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, as well as US First Lady Jill Biden.
The authorities said that after the issuance of the visit visa, the tourist must enter the country within 60 days from the date of issuance, and the validity of the entry permit will be 30 days or 60 days, depending on the visa sought.