The meeting is expected to discuss the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

Iraq's prime minister to meet Joe Biden on 26 July

PHOTO/ Oficina de Medios del Parlamento Iraquí via REUTERS - Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi will travel to the United States where he will meet with US President Joe Biden on 26 July. The meeting will "highlight the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq", according to an official White House communiqué. The visit will also focus on "key areas of shared interest, such as education, health, culture, energy and climate initiatives".

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden also hopes to "strengthen bilateral cooperation with Iraq on political, economic and security issues to include joint efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS". The US is still keeping some 2,500 Americans in Iraq since 2014 as part of an international coalition aimed at fighting Daesh. 

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The announcement comes just two days after US envoy Brett McGurk discussed the roadmap for the withdrawal of foreign troops, particularly US troops, with the Iraqi prime minister in Baghdad. Thus, in Washington, al-Kadhimi is expected to push for a concrete timetable for withdrawal. In recent years Iraq has become a battleground where US-Iranian rivalry has been at its most acute.

Relations between Washington and Badgad are not at their best. In fact, since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the presence of US troops in the country has not convinced the population or the country's leaders, despite the fact that the US army is in the Asian country fighting the terrorist threat that has plagued the country for so many years. However, US-Iraqi relations have not improved in recent years despite cooperation in the fight against Daesh. 


Since the US assassinated senior Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad's international airport under the previous Trump administration, the two countries have kept their relationship at a low ebb. US President Joe Biden has sought to dissociate himself from the policies of his predecessor by returning to multilateralism. The meeting between the two leaders is part of this new mentality established by Joe Biden, which seeks consensus and negotiation.

The US president is picking up the legacy of the Obama administration, leaving behind the dark years of Donald Trump's presidency. His Middle East policy is much more conciliatory than Trump's, an example of which is Biden's intention to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. The meeting between Joe Biden and Mustafa al-Kazemi seeks to return to a path of understanding at a time when attacks on US military and diplomatic facilities in Iraq are on the rise.


Earlier this month, 14 rockets were fired at the Ain al-Assad air base, which hosts US troops in western Iraq, and another three landed near the US embassy in Baghdad. These were the latest in a series of attacks on US military and diplomatic facilities in Iraq. The attacks have been attributed to pro-Iranian armed groups under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.