Blinken makes surprise visit to Baghdad

U.S. State Department release on Blinken’s meeting with Al-Sudani in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, November 6 — The United States Department of State issued a statement following a meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani in Baghdad late Sunday.

During a press conference after their meeting, Blinken stated, “Prime Minister Al-Sudani has made very clear his condemnation of attacks against – directed at our people, threats at our people, and his determination to do what’s necessary to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

A readout of the leaders’ meeting stated:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani in Baghdad.  The Secretary and the Prime Minister discussed the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the need to prevent the conflict from spreading, including in Iraq. The Secretary discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza and our continued commitment to coordinating with Iraq and our other partners in the region to ensure sustained and safe access to food, water, medical care, and other assistance required to meet humanitarian needs.  The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed the need to ensure that Palestinians are not forcibly displaced outside of Gaza. The Secretary urged the Prime Minister to hold accountable those responsible for continuing attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq and fulfill Iraq’s commitments to protect all installations hosting U.S. personnel at the invitation of the Iraqi government. Secretary Blinken made clear that the U.S. will defend its interests and personnel.