Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a meeting in New York during the U.N. General Assembly, where President Joe Biden extended an invitation for Al-Sudani to visit the White House in the near future. The exact date for the visit will be determined later.
This invitation marks an important diplomatic gesture as Al-Sudani, who assumed office last year, navigates complex relations between the United States and Iran, both of which have historically contested their influence in Iraq. Al-Sudani and Blinken reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the partnership between the two nations.
Iraq has been a significant ally of the United States since the 2003 invasion, with a focus primarily on defense and counter-terrorism efforts. Both countries are now seeking to broaden their cooperation to encompass economic and financial aspects.
During their meeting, Secretary Blinken expressed support for the reopening of a pipeline between Iraq's Kurdistan region and Turkey, a move that has been halted since March and has resulted in substantial financial losses for the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Furthermore, Blinken commended Iraq's commitment to judicial independence, particularly in the conviction and sentencing of individuals involved in the killing of U.S. citizen Stephen Troell.
The discussions also included measures to strengthen Iraq's financial sector and enhance cooperation on financial issues, addressing concerns related to the misuse of dollars at Iraqi commercial banks.
The visit and discussions underscore the significance of the relationship between Iraq and the United States, reflecting mutual interests in various fields, including diplomacy, economics, and security.