In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Iraqi President Barham Salih called for renewed dedication to the U.S.-Iraq alliance: "We have to be together in this. You need us, and we need you."
The big picture: The U.S. has maintained a presence in the Middle East for decades, and many countries from the area have developed policies based around America's influence.
- Iraq itself is currently struggling with unemployment, a lack of public services and allegations of corruption. Protests calling for Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to step down in recent weeks have left more than 100 dead and created civil unrest after roughly two years of stability.
- The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused extreme destabilization for the nation, wrecking its infrastructure, creating significant instability and weakening the federal government's control of the country.
What they're saying:
"Help us make it. Success here matters. And it is not about simplistic solutions. This is about an interconnected world. Your security and our security is intertwined. And what is right for your country is right for mine too."— Salih to "Axios on HBO"
- "We also need jobs. We need a good education system. And we need to defeat extremism," Salih added.