U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday postponed a trip to Ukraine so he could focus on the situation in Iraq after demonstrators attacked the U.S. embassy.
“Secretary Pompeo must postpone his visit to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” the State Department΄s Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
“Secretary Pompeo’s trip will be rescheduled in the near future and he looks forward to the visit at that time,” she added.
Supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups stormed the U.S. embassy’s perimeter and hurled rocks in two days of protests. They withdrew on Wednesday after Washington dispatched extra troops and threatened reprisals against Tehran.
His trip was scheduled for Friday through Tuesday, when he was due to visit Cyprus.
On Tuesday evening Pompeo had told Fox News the Ukraine trip was still on.
Pompeo was set to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine on the highest-level U.S. visit since President Donald Trump’s impeachment over his handling of relations with Ukraine.