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Iraqi PM Rejects Presence of Foreign Forces

Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi has rejected the presence of any foreign forces in the country, stressing that Iraq is independent and not influenced by any pressure or dictated.

The Iraqi premier made the remarks during a meeting with acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in Baghdad on Tuesday, where they discussed the relations between Baghdad and Washington, the war against terrorism, and training of Iraqi forces, as reported by Iraqi News.

“Iraq is open to its Arab and regional environments and is keen to establish cooperation relations that serve the interests of the Iraqi people,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

However, he noted that Iraq is willing to further develop the ties with the US in hopes of better fighting against terrorism and training the Iraqi forces.

“We must abide by the basic agreements between the two countries, which deal with fighting terrorism and training the Iraqi forces, not anything else,” the premier said.

The US official, in return, reiterated his country’s willingness to further strengthen the relations between Iraq and the United States, pointing out that the main aim of his visit to Baghdad was to listen “to the Iraqi government’s vision on the nature and future of relations between the two countries,” according to the report.

“The US forces are mainly tasked with combating Islamic State and providing Iraqi forces with training to help them eliminate IS remnants,” he added. Source