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US respects, stands by Iraqis' electoral choices, says Washington
Washington, May 16(Petra) - Washington stands by Iraqis' electoral choices, despite the surprise success of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who fought US troops during the Iraq War, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday said .

"The Iraqi people had an election. It's a democratic process at a time when people, many people doubted that Iraq could take charge of themselves," Mattis told Pentagon reporters.

So we will wait and see the final results of the election, he said stressing that the US administration stands with the Iraqi people's decisions.

When asked about concerns over Sadr's victory, State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said "We are very well aware of Muqtada al-Sadr and his background and his positions now " .

We have a good relationship with the Government of Iraq, and we believe that we will continue to do that, Nauert said. Some U.S. officials believe that Sadr, a 44-year-old Shiite cleric, is now less virulently anti-American than he was in 2003, when his militia, the Mahdi Army, battled forces of the U.S.-led coalition.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it was too soon to know what the results of the election might mean for the US troop presence. "We do not support any particular candidate or party; rather we support a fair and transparent process," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon explained . "We stand ready to work with whoever is fairly elected by the Iraqi people, he further added." //Petra//S Kh
16/5/2018 - 10:41:29 AM
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