Iraqi Leaders Criticize Trump Visit After Meeting With PM Canceled

MPs slam 'blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty'

President Trump’s surprise visit to Iraq on Wednesday has a number of top Iraqi figures deeply critical, and that criticism has grown substantially with the revelation that a meeting with the Iraqi premier was canceled at the last minute over some minor disagreement.

MP Sabah al-Saadi called an emergency session of Iraq’s parliament to discuss Trump’s visit, which he described as a “blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” Opposition MPs also issued a statement terming the visit a “clear violation of diplomatic norms,” and says his canceled meeting showed “his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government.”

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s office said Trump had given him advanced notice of the visit, and that the two spoke by telephone after the meeting was canceled over a disagreement on the location of the meeting. Trump wanted to meeting at the Ain al-Asad base, and Abdul-Mahdi didn’t want to go there.

Falih Khazali, a militia leader turned MP, accused the Trump Administration of wanting to increase their military presence in Iraq “under any pretext,” while his party expressed concerns about what the US goals in Iraq really are.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.