US won’t heed Iraq’s call for troop withdrawal, calls military presence there ‘appropriate’
The US is willing to discuss recommitting to strategic partnership with Iraq but not a troop withdrawal, the US State Department said, after the countrys prime minister told Washington to prepare a mechanism for pull back.
In a statement on Friday, department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that the US military presence in Iraq was ‘appropriate’ and that any delegation the US might send to Iraq to discuss arrangements between the two countries would not discuss the removal of troops.
Ortagus acknowledged that there does “need to be a conversation” between US and Iraqi officials, “not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership.”
Earlier Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi had asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to send a delegation to begin preparations for a troop pullout.