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Iraq PM Sudani to make first visit to Washington

March 24, 2024 at 4:41 pm

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Baghdad on January 9, 2024 [MURTADA AL-SUDANI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani is to make his first visit to Washington to meet with US President Joe Biden on 15 April, according to an announcement made on Friday by the White House.

The statement said the purpose of the visit was “to coordinate on common priorities and reinforce the strong bilateral partnership between the United States and Iraq.”

“President Biden and Prime Minister Sudani will consult on a range of issues during the visit, including our shared commitment to the lasting defeat of ISIS and evolution of the military mission nearly ten years after forming the successful Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” it added.

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Al-Sudani’s office said in a statement that the pair will discuss the “future relationship” between their countries and the “best ways to transition to a comprehensive partnership between the Republic of Iraq and the United States.”

They will also “consult on a range of issues, including the most important regional issues and efforts to enhance stability in the region,” read the statement.

The issue of US troop withdrawal is expected to be on the agenda, amid growing calls for an exit of US forces who were redeployed nearly 10 years ago as part of a campaign to fight Daesh.

Having previously been invited by US Vice President Kamala Harris, Al-Sudani was to undertake his first visit to the US in September 2023, almost a year later since taking office in October 2022, however plans fell through for undisclosed reasons.