Biden to meet Iraqi PM at White House
President Joe Biden will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi later this month in Washington, the White House said on Friday.
The meeting scheduled for July 26 comes at a pivotal time in US-Iraqi relations and amid growing concerns about more frequent attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria.
There have been at least eight drone attacks targeting the U.S. presence since Biden took office in January, as well as 17 rocket attacks.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “also looks forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation with Iraq on political, economic and security issues to include joint efforts to secure defeat lasting “from the militant group Islamic State.
The attacks on US forces have been blamed on the Iranian-backed militias which constitute the bulk of the state-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces.
The Biden administration responded by twice targeting Iraqi militias operating inside Syria, including one near the Iraqi border.
The relationship has been complicated since last year’s US drone strike that killed Iranian Expeditionary Force Commander Quds Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad International Airport. This strike was ordered by then President Donald Trump.
But with the Biden administration seeking to rekindle an Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, there have been signs that Iran is seeking to curb, at least for now, militia attacks on states. -United
Soleimani’s successor Esmail Ghaani last month called on Iranian-backed militias to remain calm until the end of nuclear talks between Iran and the United States, the Associated Press reported last week. .