Donald Trump meets Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, discusses terrorism threat

Donald Trump meets Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, discusses terrorism threat

During the first meeting between President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Monday, the two leaders sat down in the Oval Office for the obligatory photo op that has previously brought us handshakes both awkward and non-existent.

During al-Abadi's visit to Washington past year, the Iraqi premier worked to drum up greater financial and military support as he faced the daunting task of rebuilding cities destroyed in the fight against the Islamic State group.

As he departed Baghdad for the Monday afternoon meeting at the White House, al-Abadi declared in a video statement, "We are in the last chapter, the final stages to eliminate IS militarily in Iraq".

His comments go one step farther in his criticism of the 2011 withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq after in the past saying that the withdrawal was made too early, that it was handled badly and that it should have been accompanied by seizing Iraqi oil.

Asked whether he had seen specific Trump administration improvements to the previous administration's approach, al-Abadi said: "To be honest, I haven't seen a full plan".

Trump said he also would address what he described as a "vacuum" that was created when so-called Islamic State (IS) militants took over large swaths of territory in western and northern Iraq.

"We (would) love to see more funds so that we can quickly (regain) prosperity and stabilisation in these areas", he said.

China's premier meets global business leaders at development forum
Mr Li is the second-ranked member of the Chinese government, after President Xi Jinping who visited New Zealand in November 2015. The Premier will be accompanied by his wife, Professor Cheng Hong, as well as a large official and business delegation.

Earlier in the day, as the two men met, Trump told Abadi that he knew his forces were fighting hard.

"It's not an easy job", Mr Trump said.

"I thank you for removing Iraq from the presidential order. this was a positive response to the Iraqi request that betters the relationship with Iraq and the value of Iraq as far as Iraqi-American relations", Abbadi told Trump.

"Our main thrust is we have to get rid of ISIS".

President Donald Trump says the U.S. "never" should have withdrawn its troops from Iraq after invading that country in 2003.

Mr Abadi is in Washington this week ahead of a gathering of world leaders to discuss the coalition against the jihadist group. "It will happen. It's happening right now", Trump added, using an acronym for ISIS.

President Donald Trump is welcoming Iraq's prime minister to the White House for their first meeting since Trump assumed office.

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