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Iraqi PM: Trump wants to be 'more engaged' in terror fight

By
Andrew V. Pestano
U.S. President Donald J. Trump meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Oval Office at the White House on Washington, D.C., on Monday. Abadi suggested he is looking forward to working with Trump's administration to combat the threat of terrorism, adding that he would like to create a joint plan with the United States. Pool Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
U.S. President Donald J. Trump meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Oval Office at the White House on Washington, D.C., on Monday. Abadi suggested he is looking forward to working with Trump's administration to combat the threat of terrorism, adding that he would like to create a joint plan with the United States. Pool Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

March 21 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who suggested he is looking forward to seeing the White House's plan to combat the Islamic State.

Abadi's visit to the White House comes as Iraqi security forces are engaged in an offensive to free western Mosul from the threat of the Islamic State.

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While speaking at a United States Institute for Peace event on Monday, Abadi said he felt the Trump administration wants to be "more engaged in fighting terrorism" -- a policy he welcomed though he still has not seen Trump's plan to combat the militant Islamist group.

"I haven't seen a full plan. I know there is a plan, I haven't seen it. We have our own plan. But we need to have a plan together, the region must have a plan to wipe out terrorism," Abadi said.

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The White House said Iraq and the United States will work together against terrorism on a long-term basis.

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"The two leaders agreed that the United States and Iraq will pursue a long-term partnership to decisively root out terrorism from Iraq and strengthen the Iraqi military and other key institutions," a White House readout from the talks between Trump and Abadi said.

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On Monday, a car bomb exploded in a predominately Shiite district of Iraq's capital of Baghdad, killing at least 20 people. Though no group has taken credit for the attack, the Islamic State has previously carried out similar attacks on Iraq's Shiite populations.

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Trump said the main goal is destroying the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.

"We will figure something out. Our main thrust is we have get rid of ISIS, it's happening -- it's happening right now," Trump said.

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