By Ahmad Rafat

The Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday.  The last time a U.S. president welcomed an Iraqi Prime Minister to the White House was three years ago.

The White House has described the meeting as coming at a critical time for both countries. “As close partners, the United States and Iraq will look to expand our relations across a range of issues, including security, energy, health care, and economic cooperation.”

The meeting takes place against a backdrop of rocket attacks against U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in recent days.

It also comes eight months after Iranian Quds Force head Gen. Qassem Suleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis were killed in a U.S. airstrike in January. The Iraqi Parliament, led by Shiite MPs, has passed bills ordering U.S. forces out of the country.

Kayhan Life interviewed Entifadh Qanbar, an Iraqi-American political activist based in Washington D.C. about the significance of this meeting and how it could define the future of U.S.-Iraq relations.

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