The U.S. commitment to Iraq’s democracy has not wavered, President Obama affirmed as he welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to Washington.
“Thanks to his leadership, as well as the partnership and sacrifices made by over 60 members of an international coalition, we are making serious progress in pushing back ISIL out of Iraqi territory,” Obama said during Al-Abadi’s visit to the White House April 14.
Obama said that gains against Daesh in Iraq also result from “Prime Minister Abadi’s commitment to an inclusive government where Shia, Sunni and Kurds and all the peoples of Iraq are unified around that nation’s sovereignty and its ability to control its own destiny.”
The United States stands by Iraq as it builds its future:
- Defense and security: The United States continues to promote stability in Iraq and the region through an enduring partnership. Since the fall of 2014, the U.S. has provided Iraq with over 100 million rounds of ammunition, 62,000 small arms systems and 1,700 Hellfire missiles for the fight against Daesh.
- Political, diplomatic and humanitarian assistance: The United States supports Iraqi efforts to develop an inclusive government that promotes human rights. Since the start of fiscal year 2014, the United States has provided over $407 million in humanitarian assistance to Iraqis affected by Daesh attacks.
- Energy: Developing an efficient and transparent energy infrastructure that is capable of meeting the needs of Iraqis and bringing greater stability to world markets remains a major goal of the United States.
- Trade and finance: The United States and Iraq support developing a prosperous, diversified Iraqi economy that is integrated into the global economic system. American companies are working in Iraq, and Iraqi exports to the U.S. rose 3 percent from 2013 to 2014.
- Education and culture: Iraq and the United States partner to support an enhanced Iraqi higher education system and to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage. During the 2013–2014 academic year, nearly 1,500 Iraqi students attended U.S. universities, an increase of 33 percent over the previous year.
Obama made it clear that degrading and ultimately defeating Daesh will take time.
“Now, this is a long process, and in our discussions, Prime Minister Abadi made clear that success will not occur overnight,” Obama said. “But what is clear is that we will be successful.”