Biden welcomes Iraqi PM Al-Sudani, reinforces strategic partnership

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — US President Joe Biden welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to the White House on Monday, reinforcing the enduring strategic partnership between the two nations in line with the 2008 US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, according to a joint statement from the White House.

The meeting was a component of Prime Minister Sudani’s visit and his accompanying delegation to the US, during which they have agreed to collaborate on enhancing regional stability and upholding Iraqi sovereignty, stability, and security.

During the meeting, President Biden reiterated his nation’s backing for “free, fair, and transparent” parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region. Additionally, he praised the recent agreements between Baghdad and Erbil, particularly the two-month salary payments for the Region’s civil servants, which had remained unpaid for several months.

In regards to energy and the reopening of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, the leaders affirmed their intention to resume oil exports. President Biden also applauded Iraq’s strides towards energy self-sufficiency, highlighting opportunities for Iraq, with the assistance of international firms, to achieve self-sufficiency by 2030.

President Biden and Prime Minister Sudani discussed Iraq’s financial reforms, aiming to boost international trade while tackling corruption. They also emphasized that Iraqi banks have expanded ties with global institutions, facilitating trade financing.

Both leaders pledged to attract foreign investment, combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and support Iraq’s transition to direct banking relationships with the world by 2024, connecting Iraqi businesses to the global economy.

As for the security matters and the defeat of ISIS, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a secure Iraq, emphasizing the prevention of ISIS resurgence. They highlighted the importance of Iraqi security forces in defeating ISIS and discussed Iraq’s agenda for reconstruction and regional stability.

President Biden and Prime Minister Sudani also discussed the Defeat-ISIS Coalition’s progress in Iraq and committed to ongoing security cooperation. They stressed the need to assess ISIS threats and Iraq’s security needs, aiming for a transition to bilateral security partnerships in accordance with agreements. They have also planned to meet again later this year to discuss the partnership’s future, including how the Global Coalition’s mission in Iraq would end.

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