US to begin talks with Iraq on troop withdrawal soon

US to begin talks with Iraq on troop withdrawal soon
# 25 January 2024 07:14 (UTC +04:00)

The United States and Iraq will soon begin talks on the withdrawal of US troops from this Middle Eastern country, CNN reported citing sources familiar with the matter, APA reports.

According to the report, "the US and Iraq are close to agreement on starting the Higher Military Commission dialogue that was announced back in August." The dialogue is aimed at determining concrete steps for the future withdrawal.

The report says that Washington wants the troop schedule to reflect the current situation in Iraq and the stability of its government and law enforcement agencies. In turn, the Iraqi leadership believes that the timeframe of the withdrawal should not be affected by any circumstances.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani said on January 5 that the international coalition has run out of justifications for its presence on the Iraqi soil, and Baghdad is set to take concrete measures to end foreign military presence in the country.

He also said that the Iraqi government was in the process of setting the date for the start of talks within the framework of a bilateral commission established to tackle the issue of foreign troops’ withdrawal.

The statement came after reports that a leader of the Harakat al-Nujaba movement, Abu Taqwa, was killed during a US drone strike on Baghdad.

In turn, the Pentagon said on January 8 that it was not planning to withdraw its troops from Iraq at this point. Currently, around 2,500 US servicemen are deployed at various bases in Iraq. Department of Defense spokesman Pat Ryder said he was not aware of any requests on the issue filed by the government of Iraq. He added that US forces were staying in the country on a request from the legitimate government of Iraq.

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