Iraqi leader: Trump to accelerate support

21 March, 2017, 06:09 | Author: Valerie Burke

"I think we are happy with the [White House] meeting. and we're looking forward to meeting with Congress and others", he said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - a former ExxonMobil executive - made a rare public appearance at the White House.

US President Donald Trump listens while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during their meeting in the Cabinet Room in the White House on March 20, 2017, in Washington, DC.

The Iraqi premier's first visit to Washington since Trump's inauguration came before Trump hosts a 68-nation meeting geared toward advancing the fight against the militant group.

Speaking in Arabic, the Iraqi Prime Minister emphasised the fact that Iraq is on the forefront of fighting ISIS. He said government forces, working effectively with Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga and supported by American airpower and military advisers, are on the brink of fully liberating Mosul, the northern city that has been the Islamic State group's main Iraqi stronghold since 2014.

Abadi's remarks followed his first face-to-face meeting at the White House with Trump, who took office on January 20 pledging a new strategy to defeat the hardline militant group that seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Tackling what Trump refers to "radical Islamic terrorism", was one of his campaign promises as the GOP nominee for 2016 presidential election.

His comments go one step farther in his criticism of the 2011 withdrawal of USA troops from Iraq after in the past saying that the withdrawal was made too early, that it was handled badly and that it should have been accompanied by seizing Iraqi oil.

President Donald Trump is telling a delegation from Iraq that "nobody" can figure out why President Barack Obama signed a nuclear agreement with Iran.

"We should never ever have left", Trump told reporters after meeting alone with Al Abadi. After expressing hope that Iraq will succeed in ending decades of internal conflict, he said his country should be wary of partitioning areas along ethnic or religious lines as some have recommended.

Abadi said he hoped the U.S. and other allies would continue to offer economic assistance to Iraq, which he said faced a financial crisis as a result of the war against the militant group. "Otherwise, what do you do?" He then grinned widely at the allusion - intended or not - to Trump's plan to erect a wall on the border with Mexico.

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