On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden affirmed the United States’ commitment to Iraq’s long-term stability and strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
This came during a meeting between Biden, on Tuesday, with his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Salih, on the sidelines of the work of the United Nations General Assembly at its 76th session, according to a statement issued by the White House.
The White House said in its statement, “President Biden met, on Tuesday, with President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the first confirmed the United States’ commitment to Iraq’s long-term stability,” according to the official Iraqi News Agency.
The statement added, “The two sides affirmed their respect for democracy in Iraq, the rule of law, and efforts to hold credible and transparent elections next October. They also discussed strengthening and deepening bilateral relations.”
On July 26, Washington and Baghdad reached an agreement to withdraw US combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year.
The tasks of the remaining US forces (the number is unknown) will focus on training and advising Iraqi forces in the war against ISIS.
There are fears inside Iraq of the possible resurgence of the terrorist organization “ISIS” again or the increase in the influence of Shiite factions upon the withdrawal of US combat forces at the end of this year, according to an agreement between the two countries.
Since 2014, Washington has been leading an international coalition to combat ISIS, which occupied a third of the area of Iraq at the time, where about 3,000 coalition soldiers are deployed, including 2,500 Americans.
In 2017, Iraq declared victory over ISIS by restoring its entire territory, which the organization invaded in the summer of 2014, but it still maintains sleeper cells in large areas and launches attacks between varying periods.
And on Tuesday, the annual high-level meetings of the 76th session of its General Assembly kicked off at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with the attendance of more than 110 heads of state and government of Member States (193 countries), and the topics of climate change, the coronavirus and Afghanistan topped the agenda.