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Iraq will not sign agreement to keep US forces inside country

The spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that his country will not sign an agreement to keep the American forces in Iraq to continue fighting against ISIS, stressing that the Iraqi government will support the parliament’s vote on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country.

“Up to this point, the Iraqi government is committed to implementing the decision of the Iraqi parliament, which stipulates that all foreign forces should withdraw from Iraq. Foreign forces do not only mean the presence of American forces. But all other foreign forces are in Iraq,” Warda told CNN.

Warda said there is currently no agreement with the U.S administration to allow their forces to remain inside of Iraq.

However, contrasting Warda’s claim, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday evening that “all Iraqi leaders have told him on special councils that they support the American military presence in their country, despite public calls for the departure of American soldiers from Iraq.”

Pompeo said during a symposium at Stanford University that “what he heard during talks he held with about 50 Iraqi officials since the beginning of this month contradicts what they publicly announce,” saying that “they will not say this publicly.”

On January 5, the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution demanding an end to the presence of foreign forces in the country, The decision was made after the assassination of Iran’s Quds Force commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd Al-Sha’abi) Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes.

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