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Biden, Iraqi PM dialogue over recent embassy rocket attack

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Iraqi
Williams Babalola
United States President, Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, on Tuesday, had a telephone call conversation to discuss the recent rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad and unanimously decided that those behind the attack must be brought to book.
The conversation came just days after Mr Biden marked one month in office.
A statement from the White House reads, “They discussed the recent rocket attacks against Iraqi and Coalition personnel and agreed that those responsible for such attacks must be held fully to account.
“Together, they discussed the importance of advancing the Strategic Dialogue between our countries and expanding bilateral cooperation on other key issues. The President affirmed US support for Iraq’s sovereignty and independence, and commended the Prime Minister’s leadership.”
Several rockets were fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to foreign missions, including the US embassy, on Monday night. It followed a similar attack on Balad Air Base on Sunday, injuring one contractor, and a rocket attack on Erbil on February 8, which left two people dead and a dozen injured.
Speaking on behalf of the US, Ned Price, US State Department spokesman accused Iran for the strikes.
“What we will not do is lash out and risk an escalation that plays into the hands of Iran and contributes to their attempts to further destabilise Iraq,” Mr Price told reporters.
The attacks are usually claimed by shadowy groups that both Iraqi and US officials say are “smokescreens” for hardline pro-Iran factions inside Iraq.
Nouri al-Maliki, former Iraqi Prime Minister and current secretary general of the al-Dawa party, on Tuesday called upon security forces “to protect diplomatic missions in accordance with international conventions and norms.”
In a statement reported on by state media, he said the attacks harm Iraq’s reputation and relations with other countries.

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