Iraqi PM says strategic dialogue with U.S. to serve Iraq’s interest

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Source: Xinhua|  
BAGHDAD, June 10 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said Wednesday that the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States is mainly aimed to serve the country’s interest and achieve its sovereignty.

Al-Kadhimi made his comments during a visit to Nineveh’s provincial capital Mosul, on the anniversary of the fall of the city in the hands of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, according to a statement by al-Kadhimi’s media office.

Meanwhile, Hisham Dawood, the adviser of al-Kadhimi, told the state-run Iraqiya TV channel that the dialogue with Washington will include economic, cultural, agricultural, industrial, scientific and security files.

In April, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington and Baghdad will hold a strategic dialogue in mid-June to take a decision on the future of the presence of the U.S. forces in Iraq.

The relations between Baghdad and Washington have witnessed a tension since Jan. 3 after a U.S. drone struck a convoy at Baghdad airport, which killed Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

The U.S. airstrike prompted the Iraqi parliament on Jan. 5 to pass a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against the Islamic State militants, mainly providing training and advising to the Iraqi forces. Enditem