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U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria Will Happen, Pompeo Says


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on January 10.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria announced by President Donald Trump last month will go ahead despite widespread criticism.

"President Trump's decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that," Pompeo told a joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on January 10.

Pompeo is in Egypt in the latest stop of a nine-country Middle East tour aimed at reassuring the United States' Arab partners that Washington is not abandoning the region.

While confirming the decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Pompeo said Washington will continue to finish the battle against the Islamic State group, adding that the United States will remain a steadfast partner in the Middle East.

Pompeo arrived in Egypt on January 10 after visits to Jordan and Iraq.

Pompeo said on Twitter after talks with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi that "the U.S. stands firmly with Egypt in its commitments to protecting religious freedom and in the fight against terrorism that threatens all of our friends in the Middle East."

He is also to deliver a speech on Washington's broader Middle East objectives.

From Egypt, Pompeo plans to continue on to Gulf Arab states.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters