Trump to meet Iraqi PM Mustafa Al Kadhimi as ties recover

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Tensions rose following a US strike on Baghdad in January that killed Iranian general Qassem Suleimani

Aug 8, 2020

August 8, 2020

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US President Donald Trump will meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi in Washington this month, the White House said on Friday, highlighting a turnaround in relations since the Iraq's US-friendly leader took office.

Tensions between the two states increased 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 hostility has calmed substantially since Mr Kadhimi – an ex-spy chief with ties to the US and its allies in the region – took the reins as Iraq's prime minister 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 White House 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.

Updated: August 8, 2020 03:17 PM

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