Iraq, US to continue cooperation against terrorism

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and US Vice President Mike Pence have agreed to continue the two countries’ cooperation against terrorism.

Mahdi received a phone call from Pence, his office said on Tuesday in a statement, without mentioning when the call was made, Xinhua news agency reported.

During the call, the two sides pledged to support the partnership to promote the interests of the two peoples, and continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government to eliminate the remnants of the terror group Islamic State (IS).

Pence hailed Mahdi’s support for the rights of religious minorities, follow up the affairs of Yazidis, and reconstruct the liberated areas in order to return all the displaced people to their homes, the statement added.

In Washington, Pence’s office said in a statement that the two leaders “discussed opportunities to advance the strategic partnership between the US and Iraq, including continuing to work together to strengthen and professionalize Iraq’s Security Forces and grow Iraq’s economy”.

Mahdi updated Pence on the Iraqi government’s efforts to exhume the mass graves of IS genocide against Yazidis in Sinjar, while pledging to personally investigate the security and economic impediments preventing the return of many of Iraq’s religious components and other displaced persons, the statement said.