In a press conference during his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Obama talked up the idea of keeping the US military presence in Iraq, which continues to grow, deployed in the country for the long term, citing the country’s instability as proof that America needs to be more involved.
Iraq’s parliament is in a state of crisis over the past week, with a proposed cabinet leading to fist-fights on the parliament’s floor and the sacking of the speaker. Since then, Iraq’s parliament has not successfully had a single session.
Obama called on Iraq to immediately finalize a new cabinet so they could focus on the war, and suggested that increases in US funding for the Iraqi government were to be based heavily on Iraq’s ability to get a new cabinet in place.
Obama concluded by saying that he believes Prime Minister Hayder Abadi is a “good partner” for the US, but that he is concerned Abadi’s hold on power in Iraq isn’t as strong as it should be.
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