US, Iraq affirm commitment to consolidating security, military cooperation

US, Iraq affirm commitment to consolidating security, military cooperation

Iraqi defense minister finishes talks with American counterpart in 2-day dialogue in Washington

By Anadolu staff

WASHINGTON (AA) - The US and Iraq have reiterated their commitment to strengthening dialogue and security and military cooperation.

The move came in a statement released on Wednesday at the conclusion of a two-day US-Iraq security cooperation dialogue in Washington between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Iraqi Defense Minister Thabit Muhammad Al-Abassi.

"The joint security cooperation dialogue reflects our maturing strategic partnership building on the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue in July 2021 when the US forces with a combat role, ended their mission," said Austin.

Ties will continue to grow after the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group is defeated, he said.

For its part, the official Iraqi News Agency said on Wednesday that "Iraq is committed to protecting American personnel and advisors, the international coalition, convoys, and diplomatic facilities."

The statement added that the delegations participating in the dialogue expressed their intention to "hold subsequent joint security cooperation dialogues and related meetings to discuss the evolving threat from Daesh/ISIS."

Both delegations also concurred on the need to "develop Iraq's security and defense capabilities" in a manner that ensures the advancement of the common interests of our two countries in the security and sovereignty of Iraq, as well as the stability of the region.

On Monday, Al-Abassi and his accompanying delegation began a visit to the US.

On July 26, 2021, Baghdad and Washington reached an agreement on the withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq by the end of the same year. A limited number of them remained to provide advice and training for Iraqi forces.

*Written by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara

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