Trump meets Iraqi counterpart: US agrees not to withdraw US troops
- January 23, 2020
- Andrew S Gillis
After meeting with US President Donald Trump and his Iraqi counterpart, Braham Saleh, the White House has said that both leaders have agreed to continue the US military role in Iraq.
The two leaders met at the 50th annual meeting of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
It is worth mentioning that the first meeting of the two heads is after the killing of Qasim Suleimani, the head of the Iranian force in Qatar, on January 5 in Baghdad.
According to the news agency AFP, the White House said: “Both leaders emphasized the importance of continuing economic and security partnerships, including the war against ISIS.
“US President Donald Trump reaffirms America’s unwavering commitment to a sovereign, stable and prosperous Iraq,” the White House statement said.
On the other hand, sources from the Iraqi president’s office said that Braham Saleh also discussed the withdrawal of forces with Donald Trump after the US drone attack.
Sources said that Trump told the Iraqi president that he did not want to stay in Iraq and would unilaterally withdraw the forces but that the withdrawal would be disgraceful to Washington.
In addition, the Iraqi president told world leaders in Davos that the parliamentary vote was not “a sign of ungratefulness or enmity” but rather a response to his country’s sovereignty.
“It is not in our interest to unite on the one hand at the expense of the other, while both sides respect our sovereignty and independence,” he said.
The Iraqi president added that ‘Iraq does not need guidance on the nature of relations’.
It should be noted that Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles at two military bases of the US and its allied forces in Iraq in response to the killing of Qasim Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force.
Iran claimed to have killed 80 American terrorists in the missile attack, but the US rejected Tehran’s claim.
Earlier, an American contractor was killed in a rocket attack in northern Iraq last December, killing 25 members of Iranian-backed fighters in a US airstrike.