SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 5 August 2021, Thursday |

Biden to host Iraq’s prime minister at White House on July 26

The White House announced on Friday that the American President Joe Biden will host Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, on July 26.

The visit will highlight the strategic partnership between the two countries and advance bilateral cooperation under a 2008 agreement that governed the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Psaki listed areas of shared interest, such as energy and health and said Biden looked forward to strengthening cooperation with Iraq on “security issues to include joint efforts to ensure the enduring defeat” of the Islamic State militant group.

Psaki made no reference to Iran, which exercises influence in neighboring Iraq through its close relations with the Baghdad government and by backing Shi’ite militia forces that mount attacks on military facilities hosting US forces.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander urged Iraqi Shi’ite militias to step up attacks on US targets during a meeting in Baghdad last week, three militia sources and two Iraqi security sources familiar with the gathering said.