Al Hurra – WashingtonJuly 14, 2021Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on WhatsAppComments
The Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Joey Hood, confirmed, on Tuesday, that the strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq, in its fourth round, will be held in a few days to strengthen relations between the two countries.
“We are very active in efforts to restore stability to the communities in Iraq that were destroyed by ISIS,” Hood said during a virtual meeting at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies.
He explained that the United States is the largest donor to Iraq’s development through the development programs of the United Nations, “We have rehabilitated more than 130 schools with this funding… in addition to 57 primary health care centers, six clinics, 62 water treatment plants, 17 electrical sub-stations, and three hospitals.”
He pointed out that Congress provided a financial grant of ten million dollars dedicated to education, “and we are working closely with our partners in the United Nations and the European Union to meet the requests of the Iraqi government regarding the organization and monitoring of elections.”
Hood renewed the US call for the Iraqi authorities to bring the killers of Iraqi activists to justice.
“We talk at every opportunity with the Iraqi government about human rights and that they have a duty to protect peaceful demonstrators and civil society activists,” he said.
He added, “On the sixth of July, the first anniversary of Hisham al-Hashemi’s assassination was right in front of his house, and those responsible for killing him, assassinating others, and disappearing civil society activists are still at large.”
“We have no doubt that the anti-democratic armed militias are behind these cowardly acts and target human rights and democracy. They target human rights and democracy advocates, and this must end,” he added.
He stressed that the United States will work “to push the Iraqi government to confront these militias and bring them to justice.”
“We are not at war with these militias, we want them to leave us alone and leave the Iraqi people alone,” he added.
Since the beginning of the year, about 50 attacks have targeted US interests in Iraq, especially the US embassy in Baghdad and Iraqi military bases that include Americans, and the Baghdad and Erbil airports, in attacks often attributed to Iraqi pro-Iranian factions.