Trump to meet Iraqi PM as ties rebound
Published: 07:14 PM, 8 August 2020
Trump and Kadhimi
US President Donald Trump will meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi in Washington this month, a White House statement said on Friday, highlighting a turnaround in relations as Iraq's US-friendly leader took office.
Tensions between the two states raised in January after the US killed Iranian General Qassem Suleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi Al Muhandi, prompting Iraqi politicians to demand the expulsion of the 5,200 US troops in the country.
The situation calmed significantly after former national intelligence service chief Mr. Kadhimi tied to the US and its allies in the region took the reins as Iraq's premier in May.
The White House said the August 20 visit came at a “critical time” in the fight against ISIS and the myriad problems posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“As close partners, the United States and Iraq will look to expand our relations,” the statement added.
A Washington invitation was the type of diplomatic approach never received by Mr. Kadhimi’s predecessor, Adel Abdel Mahdi, who was forced to resign by months of protests.