Pool was taken to Cabinet Room shortly after the photo up at the oval where Iraq Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi was seated in the middle of a table surrounded by 8 members of his delegation, they include ; Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jafrai, Defense Minister, Arafan AlHayani, Oil Minister (dont have his name), Spokesman and Advisor for the Kurdish region, Foaud Hussain, the Iraqi ambassador to the US Farid Yassin, Mustapha Al Haiti, assistant to building and reconstruction committee. The only woman in the delegation was Ann Nafi' Minister of rehabilitation and construction. The PM sat opposite the President and his team. My US pool colleague will send you the names of US delegation and POTUS statement.
Mr Abadi spoke after POTUS in classical Arabic. He started by siting the Quran, (In the name of the most merciful God) - he reiterated that ISIS is a terrorist organization which threatens the security of the world, "as we have seen in series of explosions around world" he added. He emphasized the fact that Iraq is on the forefront of fighting ISIS, (its an ugly organization). He also talked about the importance of peace. The Iraqi forces helped 1.6 million DIPs and refugees which he sited as an example of their success. 'stability is very important' he added. The Iraqi forces are helping resettle the refugees. (we have the strongest counter terrorism forces, but we looking forward for more cooperation between us and the US.) he said.
(This relation is by choice), (its not just security cooperation but its also economic, energy and a cultural one), he said implying that its not imposed on Iraqis.
(Our worries and your worries are the same as your troops provide air coverage for our troops) said the PM.
He added that he wants to build on the Strategic agreement Iraq signed with the US Finally, he thanked POTUS for removing Iraq from the travel ban list. pool was asked to leave.
Mr Abadi and his delegation are spending few days in Washington according to his advisors. He is expected to meet with congressional leaders on the hill `. He is also expected to speak this afternoon at the USIP and attend the anti ISIS State Dept conference due on 22 and 23. He is given an interview to Fox News.