Time: 1/15/2020 9:40 PM
[International: Al Furat News] Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs, Joy Hood, said that the US administration is looking forward to strengthening the relationship of strategic partnership, denying “any talk now about the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.”
In an interview, Hood called for Iraq to “accelerate the appointment of a strong prime minister who would control security forces and lead Iraq toward prosperity and the strengthening of sovereignty.”
The US official added that “the current time is appropriate for the United States and Iraq to sit together to talk about commitment to strategic partnership at the diplomatic, financial, economic and security levels.”
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that all Iraqi leaders had told him on private councils that they supported the US military presence in their country, despite public calls for American soldiers to leave Iraq.
Pompeo added that what he heard during talks with about 50 Iraqi officials, since the beginning of this month, contradicts what they publicly announce, stressing that they all welcome the American campaign to combat terrorism.
The Iraqi parliament had voted on a resolution calling for an end to the presence of foreign forces in the country, after the air strike in which the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed on the third of this month.