The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein highlighted common areas of work discussed in their second strategic dialogue, during a joint press conference in Washington on Aug. 19.
“We are committed to helping Iraq achieve economic prosperity, freedom from foreign meddling in its internal affairs, and improve relations with its neighbors as well,” said Pompeo.
Hussein arrived in the United States on Monday, heading a “negotiating delegation” to hold a strategic dialogue on Wednesday.
“We reaffirmed during our talks on the continuity of the talks and the dialogue in order to reach common work on other fields such as energy, and there has been a memorandum of understanding and cooperation signed in this field, especially in terms of the power, oil, health sector education, higher education, and these memoranda will be signed today,” said Hussein during the joint press availability.
In a message later on Twitter, Pompeo said the U.S. government supports the Iraqi’s governments effort to address its people’s demands for a “more just nation.”
The Secretary of State said the United States will work with the government in Baghdad for a country that is “corruption free, prosperous, and fully integrated into the global economy.” He also talked about providing support for the early parliamentary elections in Iraq.
Both the leaders reaffirmed the principles that the two allies have agreed upon in their Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA), according to a statement by U.S. Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
“There has been a reaffirmation on the joint work in different fields between the United States of America and Iraq,” said Hussein.
Good meeting with Foreign Minister Hussein today to discuss the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue. I expressed my support for the government’s efforts to address the Iraqi people’s demands for a more just nation and a budget deal for the Kurdistan Region. pic.twitter.com/kSHJI9bgXI
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 19, 2020
“We are both in the same trench and fighting the ISIS and we are still in the same trench and we’ll work together to defeat the terrorist elements and the factions,” he added.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister said the dialogue between the two allies is continuous and the outcome is positively in the interest of both the countries and its people. He said the United States is a strong ally of Iraq and there’s a need to “protect, deepen and expand” this relationship.
Pompeo said he has also offered support to the Iraqi government for a budget deal for the Kurdistan region, which Ortagus also affirmed in his statement.
“The real focus is the joint efforts that we are making on every dimension whether that is economic efforts, to maritime assistance to security assistance, all of those things. We continue to understand that the Iraqi people need that, the Iraqi people’s sovereignty depends upon the continued American commitment to support them,” Pompeo said in reply to a press query during the conference.
He also announced additional humanitarian aid of $204 million for food and clean water for the Iraqis, for Iraqi refugees, and for generous communities hosting them.