Rudaw

Abadi arrives in Washington to discuss US-Iraqi relations with Trump

US President Donald Trump and administration officials will receive Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and a delegation in Washington on Monday, marking the PM’s first visit to the US capital since Trump’s inauguration in January.

Abadi landed in the United States early Monday morning, according to Iraqi state news.

Trump invited Abadi to Washington in November 2016 after the Iraqi PM congratulated the American president on his electoral victory, and the White House spokesperson announced in early March that the Abadi-Trump meeting would take place the week of March 20.

The US-led international coalition and forces inside Iraq have made key gains against ISIS over the past year-and-a-half, notably clearing ISIS fighters from the eastern side and nearly half of the western side of Mosul, where ISIS leaders declared its Islamic state in 2014.

Abadi urged calm after Trump wrote an executive order in his first week in office banning entry of Iraqi nationals into the United States for 90 days. The initial order has since been rewritten, and Iraq omitted from a new executive order affecting six other countries, which Trump has maintained is a matter of national security.

Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, and Abadi met each other at the Munich Security Conference last month.

Iraq’s ambassador to the United States from 2013 to 2016 opined that the new Trump administration will want to know the costs, risks, and potential rewards of further US involvement in Iraq.

“At this moment the Iraqi administration is trying to test the waters to see what the key priorities for the US administration are,” Lukman Faily told Rudaw English on the sidelines of the Sulaimani Forum earlier this month.

“From the US perspective, they are dealing with Iraq from a legacy perspective…They want to know their investment, overall, how much rewarding it is for them.”

Abadi’s visit with the president comes just days before a US State Department summit with members and partners of the anti-ISIS coalition scheduled to take place on Thursday in Washington.

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