State Department spokesman says U.S. supports a unified Iraq

Mesop – WASHINGTON,— The U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner reiterated on Monday his country’s support to Iraq in defeating Islamic State (IS) and restoring stability to the liberated areas. Toner, during a press conference, told NRT that Iraq’s unity is an internal matter for the county and constituencies to discuss, when he was asked if the U.S. was firm in the idea of unified Iraq.“We also want to encourage them [Iraq] to take the necessary steps to prevent the re-emergence of IS, and to – we also want to communicate our support for a prosperous, unified, and democratic Iraq going forward,” he added.

Toner said that his country’s focus is now on defeating the ultra-hardline group which is driven out of most parts of Iraq by the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces.

Toner’s comments come as Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had his first meeting on Monday with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington.Abadi said he was looking forward to continued cooperation between the U.S. and Iraq, not just in security but in the economy, energy and culture.“Stability is very important,” Abadi added. “We have the strongest counter-terrorism forces, but we are looking forward for more cooperation between us and the U.S.”

Abadi has arrived with a delegation including Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi, the Chief of Staff to the Kurdistan Region’s Presidency (KRP), Fuad Hussein, Iraq’s Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Farid Yasseen, Minister of Rehabilitation and Construction Ann Nafi and the assistant to the Rehabilitation and Construction Committee, Mustapha al-Haiti. Abadi emphasized Iraq’s position at the forefront of the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and spoke of the importance of peace. Abadi and his delegation are spending few days in Washington where he is expected to meet with congressional leaders.