In their recent meeting at the White House, President Obama and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the United States and the Republic of Iraq and pledged to advance common interests to support a stable, secure, and prosperous Iraq and Middle East. They also discussed their shared commitment to enhance cooperation under the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA).
The two leaders noted that it has been nearly two years since the final American troops departed Iraq and the United States and Iraq entered a new phase of their relationship, based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to build a strategic partnership between two sovereign nations. They recalled the thousands of Americans and Iraqis who have given their lives in our common fight against terrorism and extremism in Iraq.
The President and Prime Minister renewed their determination to honor the memory and sacrifice of those killed by strengthening our joint long-term strategic partnership across the fields covered by the SFA, including security, diplomacy, trade, education, energy, culture, science, and justice.
Following the President’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Vice President Biden and Prime Minister Maliki convened the Higher Coordination Committee (HCC). This was the fourth meeting of the HCC since it was established in 2008 under the SFA.
The U.S. and Iraqi delegations discussed Iraq’s position as an emerging democracy in the region, leading energy producer, and a nation representing a diversity of social customs, religions, and ethnicities. The Iraqi delegation described the challenges Iraq faces due to its geography and the legacy of the former regime after decades of wars and international isolation. In this regard, both delegations welcomed the full restoration of relations between Iraq and Kuwait, expanding energy, security, and commercial ties with Jordan, and improving relations with Turkey.