Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US envoy Brett McGurk discussed the withdrawal of troops, his office said, one day after top Iraqi and Iranian officials met.
"Discussions took place about mechanisms for (US) combat troops' withdrawal from Iraq, and moving forward to a new stage in strategic cooperation," the Iraqi prime minister's office said in statement on Thursday, AFP reported.
McGurk is the Middle East and Africa coordinator in the White House.
Some 3,500 foreign troops are still on Iraqi territory, including 2,500 Americans, who have been posted to help fight the Daesh terrorist group since 2014.
Kadhimi is scheduled to visit Washington later this month to push for a concrete timetable of troop withdrawal. The implementation of their withdrawal could take years.
Iran backs Iraqi stability
The meeting came after Iraq's National Security Agency chief, Abdel Ghani al-Assadi, met Wednesday in Baghdad with Iran's Intelligence Minister Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi.
The Iranian minister assured Tehran’s support for security and stability in Iraq, according to an Iraqi National Security statement.
Alavi also met other Iraqi officials including President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi.
The minister told Salih that he conveys Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s support for Iraq’s security and stability.
Alavi underlined “the importance of strong relations between the countries and their peoples.” He also expressed Ayatollah Khamenei’s supportive stance in favor of “reinforcement of the bilateral cooperation and coordination towards confronting terrorism, extremism, and establishment of peace in the region”.
Salih stressed the depth of the two sides’ historical ties, and likewise underlined “the need for the development of the outlook of bilateral cooperation between the countries in all fields”.
“A strong, safe, stable, and sovereign Iraq that enjoys balanced relations with the surrounding Arab and Muslim countries, [in turn] serves as a stabilizing element and the confluence of the regional countries’ common interests and reinforces the regional peace and security.”
He expressed gratitude towards the Islamic Republic of Iran for its supportive positions regarding his country, and thanked Tehran for the backing that it has been providing for Baghdad, especially in the area of fighting terrorism and confronting the terrorist group of Daesh.
In 2014, Iran became the first country to rush to Iraq’s assistance in the face of Daesh after the group launched its campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the Arab nation.
In his meeting with Halbusi, Alavi reaffirmed Iran’s full support for Iraq on all fronts.
Halbusi said it is imperative to help Iraq promote security and stability in Iraq, adding that a stable Iraq would have positive impacts on the entire region’s stability.