Baghdad looks to Trump with Framework Agreement

If Iraq is seeking to take advantage of the United States in terms of security development, economic potential and the political support of Washington, it has to acknowledge and accept US interests in the region. In this regard, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Dec. 4 that Iraq has to allow an American presence in the country after the expulsion of the Islamic State (IS) from Iraqi territories.

However, in a press statement Dec. 6, Hadithi replied to Carter’s statements, saying, “The future of the relations between Iraq and the countries of the international coalition to fight against IS will be determined by Abadi in accordance with his powers” — i.e., this would not contribute to building a strategic alliance with the United States.

In this context, political analyst Mahmoud al-Hashimi told Al-Monitor that Hadithi’s statement reflects "the weakness of the Iraqi government in the face of Iran, which does not want an American presence in Iraq."

Hashimi added, “The Iraqi government ought to know how to benefit from Trump’s administration, as the president-elect is employing a strategy to deal with central countries in the world to control chaos and diasporas in the Middle East. I believe this is in the interest of Iraq and its fight against armed groups and forces that seek division.”

The United States is a great world power that played a pivotal role in the history of Iraq, driving out Saddam’s troops from Kuwait by military force in 1990, and ousting Saddam in 2003 and contributing to the establishment of a democratic system. It would serve the Iraqi government greatly to have the United States as its strategic ally, in light of the challenges in the fight against terrorism sweeping the world and Iraq’s dire need for investments and contributions to the reconstruction process by US companies.

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