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.
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.
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.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Iraq on Saturday as part of a wider trip to the Middle East seeking to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the United States.
New Zealand reported two new coronavirus cases on Saturday -- one in managed isolation and the other detected during contact tracing, taking the overall tally to 1,475, according to the Ministry of Health.
Togolese Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou and his government tendered their resignation on Friday, the presidency said in a statement, congratulating the Cabinet for its work in office.
South Korea said on Saturday it will request North Korea to further investigate the killing of a South Korean government official who was shot by North Korean troops after being found adrift near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary while apparently trying to defect.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Americans might not know the winner of the November presidential election for months due to disputes over mail ballots, building on his criticism of a method that could be used by half of US voters this year.