Iraq, U.S. will start talks on exit of forces in June: military spokesman 

April 26, 2020 - 19:33

TEHRAN - The spokesman for the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces has revealed that Baghdad and Washington will start talks on the exit of U.S. forces from Iraq in June, an Iraqi newspaper reported on Sunday.

In an interview with the Al Sabaah newspaper, Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf said in line with a resolution by the Iraqi parliament to remove U.S. forces from Iraq the two countries will start detailed talks in June on a complete removal of U.S. forces based on a time schedule.  

Khalaf pointed to a recent letter by the U.S. ambassador to interim Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, saying in line with the letter a comprehensive dialogue will take place on the exit of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The spokesman added that even with the implementation of the removal of U.S. forces, Iraq and the U.S. will maintain their security ties in areas of training forces and exchange of experiences.

In the future talks, the major general added, economic, political, and security relationship between Iraq and the U.S. will be discussed in line with the Baghdad-Washington strategic agreement.

Following the assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) deputy commander Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis in a terrorist attack by the U.S. military on June 3 in Baghdad’s international airport, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution on January 5 tasking the government to order the expulsion of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Under a pressure by resistance forces, political groups and the Iraqi public opinion, the U.S. has been evacuating some military bases in Iraq. 

On April 8, Abdul Mahdi had revealed the content of a letter by the U.S. State Department in which the exit of U.S. forces from Iraqi had been raised in comprehensive talks with Baghdad in the future.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad had formally submitted the letter to Abdul Mahdi.

Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also said in a statement that negotiations will start with Iraq in mid-June based on the strategic relationship between the two countries.


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