Trump hosts al-Kazemi this month

President Donald Trump plans to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi at the White House on August 20, the US presidency announced Friday, in reference to an improvement in relations between Baghdad and Washington after months of tension.

The White House said in a statement that "this visit, which will take place on August 20, comes at a crucial stage for the United States and Iraq, while we continue to cooperate in order to permanently defeat ISIS, and to confront the challenges resulting from the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic."

The statement added that "the United States and Iraq, as close partners, are looking to expand relations between them," explaining that they will discuss cooperation in the fields of security, energy and health, as quoted by "AFP."

Tensions escalated between the two countries after an American raid on Baghdad last January that killed the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, and the leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, prompting Iraqi MPs to request the departure of about 5,800 American soldiers from the country.

Tensions have eased significantly with Washington since al-Kazemi took office in May, and Washington and Baghdad began in June a "strategic dialogue" to decide on the future of US soldiers deployed in Iraq.

T/S

ANHA


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