The Biden administration will be resuming strategic talks with Iraqi officials next month on the withdrawal of the remaining US combat forces in the country. These talks will be the first under Joe Biden. The discussions are expected to shape the future of the US-Iraq relationship. Also, the topics will include security, trade, climate and more.
According to a senior administrative official who spoke on condition of anonymity, the US will be using the meetings as a means to clarify that coalition forces remain in the country “at the invitation of the Iraqi government and solely for the purpose of training and advising Iraqi forces” and to ensure that the terror group ISIS “cannot reconstitute”. As per the Iraqi officials, Iraq had sent a formal request to Biden’s administration for a date to resume strategic talks on bilateral relations.
Both the countries launched the talks in June 2020. The talks began online due to the coronavirus and were expected to go on for several months. The relations have improved since new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi took over the helm of Iraq’s government. He marked a new chapter in Iraq-US relations.
Earlier, Sajad Jiyad, an Iraqi analyst said, “The first stage will try to set the tone and agenda for the talks and lay on the table some of the urgent issues up for discussion”. The first session team was held by David Hale, undersecretary for political affairs, and pressed issues such as the future of the US forces in the country and security concerns. The second session was held in the month of August.