ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Baghdad on Saturday in a previously unannounced stop on his four-day trip to the Middle East.
A government source told Kurdistan 24 that, upon arrival, Maas met immediately with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim to discuss current tensions between Iran and the United States, and would later be meeting with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to talk about German-Iraqi relations.
He made his first stop in Amman on Friday, in an effort of high-profile diplomacy that will also include additional visits to the UAE and Iran, as reported by Deutsche Welle.
The German Foreign Ministry said earlier that the purpose of Maas’s trip is to push for “calm and de-escalation” in the region, “as he will explore options to preserve” the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
On May 31, Maas confirmed that Germany supports the US plan to establish a security zone in northeastern Syria along the Turkish border to help maintain stability there, after the drawdown of US forces, which have been working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to defeat the so-called Islamic State.
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“We strongly welcome—we very much welcome—the fact that the United States has decided to continue its presence on the ground” in northeast Syria, he said during a joint appearance with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Berlin.