US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has affirmed the persistent efforts of President Joe Biden’s administration to develop ties with Iraq.
“I am looking forward to speaking to my Iraqi counterpart, Dr. Fuad Hussein, tomorrow (Wednesday) at the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
“We will review progress in every area of our broad and strategic partnership.”
Ned Price, spokesperson for the US State Department, said in a press briefing last Thursday that the US put in the context of its partnership with Iraq agreements that have been concluded in past strategic dialogues.
Both countries are scheduled to hold a new round of strategic dialogue on Wednesday, in light of the ongoing internal disputes on the presence of US forces in Iraq.
The first round was held in June 2020, while the second took place in August, during Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s visit to Washington.
Baghdad and Washington had earlier agreed to reduce US troops in Iraq. Some 1,000 soldiers of the 3,500 troops present have been withdrawn between 2020 and 2021.
More forces are expected to withdraw soon from Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar desert and Harir base near Erbil.
The origin of the talks is the former US administration. Iraq sought strategic dialogue with the Trump administration. “The United States and the Republic of Iraq will hold Strategic Dialogue discussions via video teleconference on April 7 in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between our two countries,” the US State Department said recently.