Salih to Trump: respect my slogan ‘Iraq first and foremost’

TEHRAN, Feb. 06 (MNA) – An Iraqi source told MNA that Iraqi President Barham Salih responded to US president when the latter told him that he was disturbed by his recent statements by saying that "Trump must understand if his slogan is America first.”

The Arabic desk of Mehr News Agency quoted an informed source as saying that a close associate of US President Donald Trump contacted President Barham Salih this morning, saying Trump was alarmed by his latest statement.

Salih replied that Trump should understand that "if his slogan is America first," then he should respect my slogan: "Iraq first and foremost.”

President Trump told CBS News in an interview that his US soldiers would be in Iraq indefinitely to spy on and survey Iran.

Reacting to Trump, Salhi said at a forum in Baghdad on Monday, "Trump did not ask us to keep US troops to watch Iran. The agreement between Washington and Baghdad is for the troops to combat terrorism, he said, and doing otherwise would be "unacceptable." 

"The Iraqi constitution rejects the use of Iraq as a base for hitting or attacking a neighboring country," he had said.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues," Salih said. "The US is a major power ... but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here."

"It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other neighboring countries, he added.

MNA/4535776

News Code 142290

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