Future of U.S.-Iraq Relations
The United States is committed to expanding its economic and cultural partnership with Iraq, said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan on a recent trip to Baghdad.
The Deputy Secretary congratulated the Iraqi people and Iraqi Security Forces, many of whom lost their lives fighting ISIS and liberating their land.
ISIS and its ideology remain the true enemies of Iraq, which is why the Iraqi people and the global coalition of 74 member nations will maintain their focus on eliminating this menace.
"Unity," stressed Deputy Secretary Sullivan, "is Iraq's best weapon against ISIS and other extremist groups."He underscored the need for a continued dialogue between the government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional government. The United States supports a federal, prosperous, unified, and democratic Iraq, one that meets the aspirations of all Iraqis.
The United States is committed to assisting the victims of ISIS atrocities, to promoting religious freedom, and protecting religious diversity and pluralism.
One example of this staunch commitment can be seen in the U.S.-funded partners who have removed more than 42,000 kilograms of explosive material from Anbar and Nineveh Provinces. The U.S. has also provided more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance since 2014, providing for the basic needs of Iraqis displaced from their homes by ISIS. This is in addition to over $190 million in support for stabilization projects administered by United Nations Development Program, enabling more than three million Iraqis to return home.
However, to safeguard an enduring stabilization across the country, Iraq must rebuild. The only way to attain lasting success is by encouraging private-sector investment and growth. That is why the United States strongly supports the reconstruction conference that is being hosted in Kuwait in February.
The U.S. also supports Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's decision to hold elections on May 12th, in accordance with Iraq's constitution.
"All Iraqis. . .must know that the state that they have created and fought for will stand up for their rights," said Deputy Assistant Secretary Sullivan. "Together, our governments and our people can overcome the challenges before us and secure a sovereign, stable, unified, and democratic Iraq that fosters the aspirations of all."