Today, Friday, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, stressed that the US partnership with Iraq is much greater than the war against the terrorist organization ISIS.
Blinken said, during a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Fouad Hussein, which was followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): "We are proud of our partnership with Iraq and our close relations in the fight against terrorism," adding: "We are partners with Iraq in the war against ISIS terrorist gangs."
He continued, "We are moving forward with our partnership with Iraq based on mutual respect and common interests," stressing that "the partnership with Iraq is much greater than the war against ISIS."
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein confirmed that the Iraqi government is moving confidently towards holding the elections on schedule, while stressing full respect for Iraq's sovereignty.
Hussein said in a speech that was followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): "Today, we are in the American capital, Washington, in response to the invitation of Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken to hold the work of the Supreme Committee emanating from the Strategic Framework Agreement for the Friendship and Cooperation Relationship between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America, which represents a continuation of the strategic dialogue. Since the launch of his first tour in June of last year.
He added, "Let me thank the attendees, the representatives of the committee from the American and Iraqi sides, for their efforts that they will make in the side sessions of the dialogue."
He pointed out that "the round of dialogue comes as a continuation of the previous three rounds, which were held in succession, as it provides a clear vision of what characterizes the partnership and alliance relationship between Iraq and the United States, and the serious efforts of the two governments to consolidate it. The first round was hypothetically on June 11, 2020, the second was held in Washington, D.C., on August 19, 2020, and the third was held on April 7, 2021. In this meeting, we look forward to completing what was agreed upon in the third round of dialogue and moving forward to achieve more Progress in all dialogue sessions that will be held by the relevant committees.
And he indicated that "these sessions represent a serious will for both countries to reach common understandings for cooperation in various sectors, and are a continuation of the agreements that resulted from previous rounds in sectors such as (oil and gas, electricity, financial, health, environmental, and cultural sectors) in addition to the security and military aspects." .
Hussein called on representatives of the sessions in various sectors to make more efforts to reach fruitful results that lead to achieving the common goals of both countries.
He continued: "At the end of last month, we participated in the ministerial meeting of the International Alliance at the joint invitation of the foreign ministers of the United States of America and Italy, whose work was held in the capital, Rome on June 28, and we conducted intensive dialogues with all parties, during which Iraq confirmed its full commitment to ensuring The inevitable defeat of the terrorist organization ISIS and the permanence of the victory achieved by joint cooperation.
He pointed out that "Iraq appreciates the efforts made by the US government to rehabilitate and train the Iraqi security forces, equip them and provide advice in the intelligence field, in order to reach the required readiness in relying on their own capabilities, in a way that enhances Iraq's sovereignty and security and preserves its gains by defeating the terrorist organization ISIS." "Iraq today stresses the importance of sustaining the momentum and international efforts led by the United States of America through the international coalition, as they constitute, in parallel with the military efforts, an inevitable victory over the ideology of injustice and hatred that terrorism is trying to spread in societies."
He stressed that "our security forces still need the programs provided by the United States of America, related to training, arming, equipping, and capacity-building, and we seek to continue bilateral security coordination and cooperation. We also affirm the commitment of the Government of Iraq to protect the personnel of diplomatic missions, their headquarters and facilities, and to ensure the security of Iraqi military bases hosting forces." International Alliance.
And he indicated that "the Iraqi government and parliament succeeded in protecting the national gains in order to preserve democracy and the legitimate rights of the Iraqi people to live in freedom and dignity, and to achieve the demands of the Iraqi people and the credibility of the promises made by the Iraqi government, a new electoral law was enacted and a new independent high commission for elections was formed."
He pointed out that "the Iraqi government is moving confidently towards holding the elections on the scheduled date on the tenth of next October, despite the challenges, while ensuring the provision of a safe environment for voters to achieve free and fair parliamentary elections to restore confidence in the democratic process in Iraq." The international community, through the United Nations, is making efforts to monitor the upcoming election process, as the UN Security Council approved its resolution No. (2576) for the year 2021, at an Iraqi request, to extend the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq ( UNAMI ) for the next year and to expand its jurisdiction to include monitoring the general parliamentary elections.
He continued, "We can only thank the countries that supported Iraq's request to strengthen the procedures for monitoring elections and ensuring their integrity, and the efforts of the United States in particular for its initiatives in this regard."
He added, "Many memoranda of understanding have been concluded in various sectors during the previous rounds of dialogue, which support our endeavors to affirm the common interests between the two sides," stressing Iraq's progress in strengthening its economic independence and achieving regional and international partnerships in a balanced manner, the latest of which was the tripartite summit initiative between the two sides. The Iraqi government, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as efforts to link Iraq to the regional energy system across the Gulf states.
He pointed out that "The Iraqi government is completing its efforts to lift the injustice that befallen our society, which has multiple components of the injustice and darkness of terrorism, as the Iraqi Parliament has enacted the Yazidi Survivors Law. As well as the government’s steps in cooperation with international partners to promote dialogue and societal peace, reject violence and extremism, respect religious, sectarian, ethnic and national diversity in Iraq, and reject forms of discrimination between citizens that affirmed Iraq’s constitution, as well as the efforts of the Iraqi government to reach the Sinjar Agreement to maintain security in it in cooperation between the security forces Federal and Peshmerga forces, as many joint security centers have been established in areas where ISIS terrorist pockets are active, as well as the efforts of the Iraqi government and in coordination with international organizations to ensure voluntary returnfor the displaced.
And he indicated that "the Iraqi government has pursued a path to support security and stability internally and at the regional level by relying on dialogue and taking joint opportunities to achieve this. Therefore, we affirm full respect for Iraq's sovereignty in a manner that guarantees its internal stability and not to be drawn into regional conflicts."
With regard to confronting the Corona pandemic and its challenges, and what the world is facing today from the emergence of new strains that are more harmful to the lives of citizens, which requires the completion of cooperation between the ministries of health in both countries to provide requirements for rapid response to ward off the risks of this pandemic, expressing his hope that agreements will be reached for support and cooperation in The field of health during the side session that will be held between the two sides.
Hussein concluded by saying that "Iraq renews its affirmation and commitment to strengthening its strategic partnership with the United States of America as a key partner in the international coalition to combat ISIS, and renews Iraq's commitment to contract and strengthen economic partnership, investment and joint action in all sectors, which are included in the Strategic Framework Agreement, with a commitment to respecting Sovereignty of Iraq and ensuring full coordination with the Iraqi government, and we are confident in our ability to move together in setting the course of this relationship on the path of well-being and prosperity that the peoples of our two countries seek and the great historical responsibility entrusted to us.”
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