Abadi to Iran: Your help is welcome but you must respect Iraq sovereignty
Speaking at Center for Strategic and International Studies, Abadi says that he has come to Washington with shopping list of weapons.
Al-Arab Online  [Published On: 16/04/2015]
Third day of visit to United States
WASHINGTON - Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday welcomed Iran's assistance in the fight against Islamic State jihadists, but warned Tehran to respect Baghdad's sovereignty.

"Everything must be done through the government of Iraq," Abadi told an audience of US policy experts at a Washington think tank on the third day of a visit to the United States.

"We welcome the Iranian government's support for us," Abadi added, on the third day of a visit to the United States aimed at shoring up US support for his fledgling government as it battles the jihadists.

Washington says Iranian officers provided advice and artillery to Shiite militias involved in the operation to retake the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS) group in recent weeks.

But Abadi insisted: "Iraqi sovereignty is of utmost importance."

The Iraqi prime minister met Tuesday with US President Barack Obama, having said that he intended to ask for a "marked increase" in heavy weapons for his forces to repel IS, which has captured a swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Abadi said that he had come to Washington with a shopping list of weapons.

And he said he had received assurances that a number of F16 planes would be delivered on time.

Abadi also said two Iraqi brigades were to start training to retake Anbar province from the jihadists and would need heavy weapons for the fight.

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