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U.S State Department Press Release: Iraq

U.S State Department Press Release: Iraq

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 15, 2014

________________________________________
The United States strongly supports Iraq and its people as they face security challenges from violent extremists. The people of Iraq have repeatedly rejected violent extremism and expressed their desire to build a better society for themselves and for their children.

The Embassy of the United States in Baghdad remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders – supporting them as they strengthen Iraq’s constitutional processes and defend themselves from imminent threats.

As a result of ongoing instability and violence in certain areas of Iraq, Embassy Baghdad is reviewing its staffing requirements in consultation with the State Department. Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated – both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman. Overall, a substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place and the Embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.

We advise U.S. citizens in Iraq to exercise caution and limit travel to Anbar, Ninawa, Salah ad-Din, Diyala, and Kirkuk provinces; make their own contingency emergency plans; and maintain security awareness at all times. We also encourage all U.S. citizens in Iraq to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://step.state.govin order to receive the latest updates from the Department.

ENDS

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