Inaugural Meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee

image003.jpgU.S. EMBASSY – BAGHDAD
News Release
For Immediate Release
January 13, 2009

Inaugural Meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee

Following is the joint statement issued by the United States and the Government of Iraq following the inaugural January 13, 2009 meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee:

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chaired the first meeting of the Iraqi-U.S. Higher Coordination Committee on Tuesday, January 13. The purpose of the Higher Coordination Committee is to oversee implementation of the Strategic Framework Agreement between the United States and Iraq, which took effect on January 1, 2009.

In addition to Prime Minister Al-Maliki and Secretary Rice, participants included Iraqi Deputy Prime Ministers Barham Saleh and Rafi Essawi, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Defense Minister Abdul-Qadir Muhammad Jasim, Interior Minister Jawad Al- Bolani, National Security Advisor Mowaffak Al-Rubaie, Political Advisor Sadiq Al-Rikabi and USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore, U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury Dave McCormick, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker and Commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq General Ray Odierno.

The meeting formally launched the Strategic Framework Agreement process, which will guide U.S.-Iraqi relations. Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Al-Maliki reaffirmed their strong desire to establish a long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship, based on the principle of equality. They reviewed the broad range of U.S.-Iraqi cooperation and agreed to establish Joint Coordination Committees to develop initiatives in economic and energy cooperation, services and technology, law enforcement and judicial cooperation and education and cultural cooperation.

This meeting represents an important step forward in our bilateral relationship. The goal of these efforts is to bring tangible benefits to the people of the United States and Iraq through greater economic growth with expanded trade and investment, more projects in areas like electricity and telecommunications and information technology that will help Iraq’s economy grow more quickly, and improved educational opportunities through University Partnerships and increased scientific, academic and cultural exchanges.

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