Abadi-Trump talks in Washington focus on Daesh
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 21, 2017,
Mar 21, 2017, 6:10
A bipartisan group of senators is urging President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpLawmakers want Trump commitment to help Iraq post-ISIS Tillerson to skip North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meet, visit Russian Federation: report Trump hits Colin Kaepernick at Kentucky rally MORE to continue US support in Iraq following a "forthcoming" ousting of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the country. "Maybe someday we'll be able to figure it out".
Like Obama before him, Trump has not suggested any sharp increases in troop levels or in airstrikes against militant targets, looking to avoid giving off the image of an invading force.
Trump also lamented the 2011 withdrawal of US forces from Mosul and the rest of Iraq - a decision made in 2008 and later implemented by President Barack Obama after Iraqi and USA negotiators could not agree on details for extending an immunity agreement covering USA forces and US contractors.
"We are in the last chapter, the final stages to eliminate IS militarily in Iraq", he said in a video statement.
For his part, Abadi told Trump that his government commands "the strongest counterterrorism forces".
"But of course we have to be careful here", Abadi said.
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi shakes hands with Nancy Lindborg, president of the United States Institute of Peace, after speaking at the institute in Washington, March 20, 2017. Trump said the two discussed the USA continuing to provide support for the fight against ISIS. "In order to provide this assurance, we should be prepared to assist Iraq in a program of decentralization, reconciliation, and security sector reform".
"I think this administration wants to be more engaged in fighting terrorism", he said.
He also said a growing number of USA companies have shown interest in boosting cooperation in trade, commerce, energy and education. "We (would) love to see more funds so that we can quickly (regain) prosperity and stabilization in these areas", Abadi said.
Abadi's visit to the White House came as Trump prepares to host a 68-country meeting geared toward advancing the fight against the IS extremists.
A US statement said the agenda will target multiple objectives, including counterterrorist financing and the stabilization of areas already liberated from IS control.
Abadi spoke as Iraqi forces made steady progress in seizing back Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from Islamic State, which officials expect will become a more classic insurgency once it loses its last major strongholds.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the White House Monday, and managed to get a jab in to President Donald Trump about his unsubstantiated claims that President Obama had ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower during the 2016 election.