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Trump welcomes Iraqi PM Abadi to White House

Trump welcomes Iraqi PM Abadi to White House

US President Donald Trump listens while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during their meeting in the Cabinet Room in the White House on March 20, 2017, in Washington, DC.

During al-Abadi's visit to Washington previous year, the Iraqi premier worked to drum up greater financial and military support as he faced the daunting task of rebuilding cities destroyed in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The Iraqi authorities launched an offensive in October to retake the northern city of Mosul from ISIL with the support of US-led coalition air strikes.

Abadi's visit to the White House came as Trump prepares to host a 68-country meeting geared toward advancing the fight against the IS extremists. "Maybe someday we'll be able to figure it out".

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"We are in the last chapter, the final stages to eliminate ISIS militarily in Iraq", he said in a video statement. Trump said the two discussed the USA continuing to provide support for the fight against ISIS.

The president also says "we shouldn't have gone in" to Iraq in the first place.

For his part, Abadi told Trump that his government commands "the strongest counterterrorism forces".

"I thank you for removing Iraq from the presidential order. this was a positive response to the Iraqi request that betters the relationship with Iraq and the value of Iraq as far as Iraqi-American relations", Abbadi told Trump.

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"I think this administration wants to be more engaged in fighting terrorism", he said.

Abadi's remarks followed his first face-to-face meeting at the White House with Trump, who took office on January 20 pledging a new strategy to defeat the hardline militant group that seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Trump welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister's efforts to foster more inclusive and accountable governance in Iraq and to address the human suffering in the country created by the brutality of the ISIS.

"Our main thrust is we have to get rid of ISIS. It will happen. It's happening right now", Trump added, using an acronym for ISIS.

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Trump also said he spoke with Al Abadi about the 2015 nuclear agreement among the US, Iran and five world powers, saying, "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".