Photo: Clydell Kinchen / U.S. Army

President Trump meets with Iraqi P.M. al-Abadi

Washington, D.C. – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was welcomed the White House on Monday.

According to a CNN report, as al-Abadi left Iraq for the U.S. on Sunday, he said Iraqi forces were close to eliminating ISIS in the country and he would consult the Trump administration about the final steps.

Abadi hoped the U.S. and other countries would continue to offer economic assistance due to a financial crisis brought about by the war against the militant group.

The Office of the Press Secretary offered the following transcript of President Trump’s remarks during a bilateral meeting with Prime Ministar al-Abadi (Arabic translations were not immediately available):

Cabinet Room

3:28 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Mr. Prime Minister, it’s an honor to have you here before our Cabinet, which I hope in years to come will be thought of one the great Cabinets in the history of the United States.  We just spent a few minutes speaking in the Oval Office and learning and giving each other ideas.  One of the things I did ask is why did President Obama sign that agreement with Iran, because nobody has been able to figure that one out.  But maybe someday we’ll be able to figure it out.

I want to thank you very much for being here, great respect for you.  I know you’re working very hard, and General Mattis and General McMaster and Rex Tillerson have all been telling me that you’re doing a job — it’s not an easy job, it’s a very tough job.  Your soldiers are fighting hard.  I know Mosul is moving along, but Mosul was ours until we left.  So perhaps we shouldn’t have gone in, and certainly we shouldn’t have left.  We should never ever have left, and the vacuum was created, and we discussed what happened.

But we’ll spend a lot of time with you, with your group.  And thank you all very much for being here.  We appreciate it.  And we will figure something out.  Our main thrust is we have to get rid of ISIS.  We’re going to get rid of ISIS.  It will happen.  It’s happening right now.  General Mattis and his team have done an incredible job.  A lot of things are different than they were even five or six weeks ago.  We’ve been here a short while and people have said they’d never seen such a difference.

So we are with you.  And again, thank you very much for being with us.

PRIME MINISTER AL-ABADI:  Excuse me a second.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yes, please.


PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.  We very much appreciate your words, and we will start discussing certain things right now.

Thank you very much, everybody.

3:33 P.M. EDT

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