Middle East Iraqi PM: Donald Trump is a 'pragmatic man'

Iraqi PM: Donald Trump is a 'pragmatic man'
The Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi. (Photo: Hadi Mizban/Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Prime Minister of Iraq on Monday said he would judge the US President-elect Donald Trump based on his actions rather than his statements during the election.

“I am not going to judge the man by his election statements. I am going to judge him by what he does later,” said the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi in an interview with the Associated Press.

Moreover, Abadi mentioned he expects Trump to provide a greater degree of logistical support to the federal government of Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).

During the election campaign, Trump said he would take some of Iraq’s oil production as a sort of “reimbursement” for Washington’s efforts in the country.

Additionally, Trump mentioned he would take the oil from Iraq; otherwise, Iranians would step in if the US did not.

The PM labeled Trump a “pragmatic man,” adding the oil of Iraq belonged to Iraqis.

“The Iraqi people will not allow any country to take possession of their own resources,” he stated. “I think it is in the interest of the United States and Iraq to keep this relationship.”

“In my telephone call with President-elect Trump, he assured me the US support would not only continue, but it was going to increase. So, I think I am going to be looking forward to more US support,” the PM said.

In another part of the interview, Abadi discussed the Mosul operation, stating IS was collapsing and failing to stand against the Iraqi security forces.

The Prime Minister emphasized Mosul would be liberated before 2017 despite the slow advance of the Iraqi forces.

Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq, occupied by IS in June 2014, which is the last urban stronghold under the control of the extremist group.

“This is like a snake; if you hit it in the middle or the tail, it's no use. I have to hit it on the head,” Abadi continued.

“The head of this terrorist organization is Mosul. If I remove Mosul from them, this is a huge blow…to its efforts to recruit young people from different countries of the world,” he added.

Speaking of human rights organizations’ reports on Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi committing violations and war crimes, the PM noted he would not cover up the wrongdoings.

“Any time I hear there is a violation or abuse, I immediately start an investigation into it,” Abadi explained.

Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched the Mosul offensive on Oct. 17.

They have since liberated several neighborhoods in the city, but the operation has slowed as they approach the center of Mosul.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany