Iraqi lawmakers have described the United State President Donald Trump’s surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.
The lawmakers also said a meeting between Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was canceled due to a disagreement over venue.
Sabah al Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of parliament “to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over.”
The Bina bloc, Islah’s rival in parliament and led by Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, also objected to Trump’s trip to Iraq.
“Trump’s visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government,” said a statement from Bina.
Abdul Mahdi’s office said in a statement that U.S. authorities had informed Iraq’s leadership of the president’s visit ahead of time. The statement said the Iraqi prime minister and U.S. president talked by telephone due to a “disagreement over how to conduct the meeting.”
Iraqi lawmakers told Reuters that the pair had disagreed over where their planned meeting should take place and Trump had asked to meet at the Ain al-Asad military base, an offer which Abdul Mahdi declined.
Trump’s visit comes amid a backdrop of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, as Washington seeks to counter Iran’s sway in the Middle East. The formation of Iraq’s government has stalled as well amid intensifying discord between the Islah and Bina blocs.