WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday held his first meeting with Iraq's prime minister Monday as the American leader shapes his policy for defeating the Islamic State group.
With Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the White House, Trump said Iran is one of the issues his team will discuss with the Iraqi delegation. He took the opportunity to criticize the nuclear deal his predecessor, Barack Obama, pursued with Iran
"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," Trump said. "But maybe someday we'll be able to figure that one out."
Trump said he hopes to address the "vacuum" that was created when the Islamic State group claimed Iraq and added that "we shouldn't have gone in" to Iraq in the first place.
Speaking after Trump during the bilateral meeting, al-Abadi said that Iraq has "the strongest counterterrorism forces, but we are looking forward to more cooperation between us and the U.S."
Trump campaigned on a promise to dramatically ramp up the assault on IS and has vowed to eradicate "radical Islamic terrorism." So far, he has not indicated a dramatic change of course. Like Obama before him, Trump has not suggested any sharp increases in troop levels or in airstrikes against militant targets, looking to avoid giving off the image of an invading force.