Baghdad: Iraq’s oil is the property of Iraqis, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday, in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump who argued that the United States should have taken possession of the nation’s crude reserves.
In a speech to CIA officials on Saturday, Trump suggested the United States should have taken Iraq’s oil in reimbursement for the 2003 invasion that put an end to Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Trump also suggested that taking Iraq’s oil would have prevented Islamic State from rising up, by removing a source of the group’s funding, according to a Huffington Post report of the encounter.
“It wasn’t clear what he meant,” Abadi told a news conference when asked about Trump’s comments. “Did he mean in 2003 or to prevent the terrorists from seizing Iraq’s oil?”
“Iraq’s oil is constitutionally the property of the Iraqis,” he said.
The new U.S. president has also sent messages offering to increase the level of assistance to Iraq, Abadi said, without giving details on the nature of the assistance.
“I’ve got assurances from President Trump that the assistance to Iraqi will continue and that it will also increase,” Abadi told a news conference in Baghdad.
Trump has made the fight against Islamic State, the hardline group that declared a self-styled “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, a priority for his administration.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.