Egypt: Sisi Confers With Iraqi PM On Bilateral Relations

Egypt: Sisi Confers With Iraqi PM On Bilateral Relations

Egypt: Sisi Confers With Iraqi PM On Bilateral Relations

"No one has the right to interfere in Iraqi affairs and decide what they should do", said a statement from Haider al-Abadi's office released on Monday. Tillerson on Sunday said that "Iranian militia" in Iraq must "go home" now that the war on ISIS is ending.

A few hours earlier, Abadi's office published a statement rejecting Tillerson's comments.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson slipped into Iraq Monday night (Oct 23) after having spent the morning in Afghanistan, but his welcome in Baghdad was far less effusive as the Trump administration pushes to isolate Iran, an important Iraqi ally.

For his part, Abadi said what Baghdad did in Kirkuk was redeployment and imposition of state power, which are legal and constitutional procedures.

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The militias were recruited and integrated into the Iraqi military in 2014 after ISIS militants swept through parts of Iraq and seized almost a third of the country despite years of effort and billions of dollars spent by the United States to train government forces.

President Sisi congratulated Abadi for the achievements of the Iraqi Armed Forces in the war against Daesh, the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, Tillerson also called on other countries to sever business ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which the USA itself recently designated as a terrorist organization.

Abadi and Tillerson both attended a landmark meeting between Saudi and Iraqi leaders in Riyadh on Sunday aimed at upgrading strategic ties between the two countries and countering Iran's regional influence.

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PM Abadi told Tillerson that what took place in Kirkuk and other disputed areas was "redeployment [of forces] and returning state authority".

The US State Department had on Friday called for Iraqi federal forces to limit their "movements" in areas disputed by the two sides to avoid more violence.

Last week, central government forces wrested back control of the disputed oil-rich province from Kurdish forces in a sweeping operation after a controversial Kurdish independence vote.

Both federal and Kurdish forces have been key USA allies in the war against IS.

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Mr Tillerson said he believed there were moderate elements among the insurgents and the USA was hoping to engage them in a peace process.

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