Baghdad, Jan 7 (IANS) Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has discussed the withdrawal of foreign forces from his country with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in separate phone calls.
On Monday, Abdul Mahdi discussed with Merkel the “positions of the Iraqi government and Parliament regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces and preservation of Iraq’s sovereignty”, Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying.
Merkel highlighted the continued cooperation between Iraq and the European Union countries in combating terrorism and the need to spare global peace and security the dangers of war.
In his call with Johnson, Abdul Mahdi explained the Iraqi government’s endeavour to prevent Iraq from turning into an arena for conflicts, according to a separate statement by his office.
For his part, Johnson “expressed his desire to visit Iraq, calling to work through diplomatic channels to defuse the crisis and reduce escalation”.
The phone calls came a day after the Iraqi Parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in the war-torn country and prevent them from using Iraqi airspace and waters.
The Parliament’s move was in response to the January 3 US airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, near the Baghdad airport.