Baghdad, February 1: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that Iraq will not at all retaliate against US President Donald Trump's travel ban because it does not want to lose Washington's backing in its battle against Islamic State group.
Notably, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi when asked at a news conference on Tuesday if he would act on the Iraqi Parliament's vote in favour of a reciprocal ban, Abadi clearly said, “we will not do anything of the sort.” He further clearly stated that the Government is studying possible decision but as the country is in a battle, they don't want to harm the national interest.
PM Abadi gave a measured response in his first public comments since Iraq was included on a list of seven Muslim-majority countries in President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration. Abadi said he is looking for the ways to “reduce the damage” from the decision. Abadi also pointed out that the decision made by America’s president is unfair.
Interestingly, the United States provides air and ground support to Iraqi troops fighting ISIL, which stands for Islamic State and the Levant, and is also known as ISIS. The armed group overran a third of Iraq in 2014. More than 5,000 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq.
Earlier after Trump’s decision of banning the refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the lawmakers of Iraq introduced a bill which consisted ban on Americans in Iraq to which later PM Abadi denied to pass the bill. It was not clear if the parliament's call on Monday was intended to apply to US military advisers.
President Donald Trump on Friday temporarily banned entry to the U.S. entry for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Later Trump's decision led to the detention of incoming refugees at US airports, sparking protests, legal challenges and widespread condemnation from international leaders, rights groups and activists.