Abdul Mahdi Says Iraq and US Should Work Together On Troop Withdrawal
Caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi on Monday (January 6) told US ambassador to Baghdad Matthew Tueller that both countries should work together on implementing an Iraqi parliamentary resolution on the withdrawal of foreign troops.
“The prime minister stressed the importance of mutual cooperation on implementing the withdrawal of foreign troops, in line with the Iraqi parliament’s resolution, and to set relations with the United States on a proper foundation,” his office said in a statement.
“He stressed how dangerous the situation is right now and its potential consequences, adding that Iraq is doing everything it can to prevent the descent into open war.”
The Council of Representatives voted on Sunday to approve a resolution calling for the end of the presence of the foreign troops in Iraq after the US killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a strike at the Baghdad airport on Friday.
Earlier on Monday, Abdul Mahdi said in a meeting with the Chinese ambassador that US forces would leave Iraq on the basis of a request from Baghdad, the same way that their presence was authorized in the first place.
Abdul Mahdi also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the resolution calling, his office said on Monday.
“The German chancellor expressed her support for Iraq’s security and stability, and highlighted the importance of continued cooperation between Iraq and European Union member states over fighting terrorism,” it said in a statement.
The parliament’s decision brought international concern. The US State Department said the US was disappointed in the decision.
“While we await further clarification on the legal nature and impact of today’s resolution, we strongly urge Iraqi leaders to reconsider the importance of the ongoing economic and security relationship between the two countries and the continued presence of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Sunday.
US President Donald Trump said that if Iraq asked US forces to leave and it was not done on a friendly basis, “we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”