Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that his visit to Washington next week is aimed at regulating Iraq’s relations with the United States and pushing for the withdrawal of foreign combat forces from his country.
In an interview with Saudi-owned al-Hadath television news network on Sunday, Kadhimi said there is no need for the presence of foreign combat forces on Iraqi soil and that he would not allow his country to be used to threaten its neighbors.
The White House said on Friday that US President Joe Biden will meet Kadhimi on July 26 to discuss “the strategic partnership” between the United States and Iraq, Press TV wrote.
Baghdad-Washington relations have been complicated since the US assassination of Iran’s lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani along with Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization United Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020, in a drone attack that was directly ordered by former US president Donald Trump.
The assassination sparked the Iraqi Parliament to vote for the expulsion of all US-led foreign forces from the country, followed by US positions in Iraq being repeatedly targeted.
Some 3,500 foreign troops, including 2,500 Americans, are still in Iraq, with the alleged aim of preventing the re-emergence of the Daesh terror group.
Kadhimi to visit Tehran
Elsewhere in his Sunday interview, Kadhimi said he will visit Tehran after the inauguration of President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, who will be sworn in early August.
He emphasized that Baghdad is in contact with Tehran because “we need stability.”