Washington, Erbil – US President Donald Trump met on Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Washington to discuss efforts to fight ISIS.
US presidential sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting, which was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, was aimed at reviewing military operations against ISIS in Iraq and efforts to fight terrorism.
A White House statement said both Trump and Abadi agreed that “terrorism cannot be defeated by military might alone.” The two leaders also called for deepening commercial ties, including in the energy sector.
Following the tripartite talks, Trump, Pence and Abadi attended a meeting on military operations in Mosul, in the presence of Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan al-Hayali, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, as well as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Meanwhile, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani reiterated the Kurdish people’s commitment to achieve full sovereignty over Kurdish territories.
Speaking on the occasion on of the commencement of the Newroz holiday, Barzani said that the struggle and sacrifices of the Kurdish people would inevitably lead to concrete results and the achievement of full sovereignty over all Kurdish areas.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Barzani’s media advisor, Kifah Mahmoud, expressed optimism over the participation of a representative from the Kurdistan region in the Iraqi official delegation to Washington.
He said that Kurdish representation would reflect positive cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil, stressing the high level of cooperation between the Iraqi forces and Peshmerga in the operation to liberate the city of Mosul.