Iraqi delegation arrives in Washington ahead of strategic talks on Monday

The sides had come together in April this year for the third round of talks which focuses on a myriad of issues including US troops' presence in the country.

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An Iraqi delegation led by Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein arrived in Washington for a preparatory meeting before the fourth installment of strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States kicks off on Monday.

The two sides announced an agreement that would see American combat troops leaving Iraq by the end of the year.

Although sources from both sides confirmed that US presence in the country is needed as ISIS ramped up its attacks over the past year. The Iraq Joint Operations Command released a statement shortly after the preparatory meeting that reads, “The two sides renewed their commitment to work to combat ISIS.”

“Even if US combat troops leave, Iraq cannot be left alone in its domestic issues.” Foreign Minister Hussein proclaimed. Hussein also praised the Biden administration’s efforts in continuing the dialogues. “The current US administration understands the situation in Iraq in a way that contradicts the previous administration,” Hussein said, likely referring to the previous Trump administration.

The strategic dialogue series started in June 2020 under the Trump administration with the title Strategic Framework Agreement, focusing on issues of security, economy, and education. Although, the focus of talks has been on the prospects of U.S. troops exiting Iraq.

The fourth round of talks is scheduled to take place on Monday.

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