Joint Statement by US and Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee

The United States of America and the Republic of Iraq are committed to forging a strong partnership based on mutual interests that will continue to grow for years to come. Our two nations are entering a new phase in our relationship. We have a historic opportunity to strengthen our ties beyond security and build a multi-faceted relationship through trade, education, culture, law enforcement, environment, energy, and other important areas.

Three years ago, our nations signed the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA), affirming both sides’ desire to establish long-term bonds of cooperation and friendship. The SFA is a lasting agreement, and one that serves as the foundation on which we are building a durable and mutually beneficial relationship. Today, we gather again in Baghdad to reaffirm our commitment to this important partnership and to the principles of cooperation, sovereignty, and mutual respect articulated in the SFA.

Vice President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki convened the SFA’s Higher Coordinating Committee on November 30. Together, they affirmed the significant accomplishments under the SFA thus far and charted a course for further joint efforts.

Cultural and Education Cooperation

The Republic of Iraq seeks the cooperation of the United States in its efforts to build a stronger higher education system, expanding English language programs, and preserving Iraq’s rich cultural heritage, especially through assistance in conserving archeological sites such as the Babylon historical site, which the United States has helped preserve, and through support to the Iraqi Institute for Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage.

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