Abadi: Trump 'more engaged' in terror fight

Mar 22, 2017, 00:40
Abadi: Trump 'more engaged' in terror fight

U.S. President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the joint battle their countries are waging against Islamic State, as they held their first in-person talks Monday at the White House.

"We have been given assurances that the support will not only continue but accelerate", Haider al-Abadi said at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a Washington-based think tank. It has already loosened some battlefield rules, including by giving some commanders more authority on the ground...

"We have to build bridges with others and work with others to be more secure", he said.

At their joint news conference, the Iraqi prime minister said his army was ready to do more to fight terrorism and be more engaged, but he expected more support from the United States and financial contributions from the worldwide community.

Asked whether he had seen the Trump administration's plan to wipe out Daesh, Abadi said: "I haven't seen a full plan".

Abadi, the first Arab head of state to meet with President Trump, is in Washington for a 68-nation summit on fighting Isis.

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According to al-Abidi, Iraq's forces "are at the last stage of liberating" the city of Mosul and its province from fighters of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Your soldiers are fighting hard.

"We're going to get rid of ISIS". "But maybe someday we'll be able to figure that one out". "It will happen. It's happening right now", he said. "Iraq should get rid of them to protect its young democratic experiment", Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said after agreeing to the withdrawal in 2008.

Trump also discussed with Abadi his objections to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Obama.

The Iraqi authorities launched an offensive in October to retake Mosul from the IS group with the support of US-led coalition air strikes. At the forum, Abadi called for more financial contributions from the global community. A ban on travel from people from seven Muslim-majority nations initially included Iraq, but the White House eventually dropped the war-torn nation from a revised version of the policy, citing military cooperation between the USA and Iraq.

The Iraqi prime minister was less enthusiastic about the global humanitarian community's follow-through on pledges made to support his country, where 3 million are internally displaced and 11 million people need humanitarian assistance.

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