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Iraq | Iraqi FM Stresses Government's Keenness to Enhance Partnership with US in all Fields

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein stressed Iraqi government's keenness to enhance partnership with the US in all fields, calling on the US to strengthen partnership between both countries through official memurdom of understanding and agreements.

Hussein made his remarks on Wednesday on the sidelines of Iraqi-American strategic dialogue held with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The United States and Iraq agreed on Wednesday to redeploy the remaining U.S.-led coalition combat troops outside Iraq in light of the increasing capacity of the Iraqi security forces in fighting against the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, said a joint statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue.

The joint statement said that the Iraqi delegation was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein, while the U.S. delegation was led by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The strategic dialogue via video teleconference, which was held in accordance with the Strategic Framework Agreement signed in 2008 between the two sides, also covered security and counterterrorism, economics and energy, political issues, and cultural relations, according to the statement.

It said the two sides "reaffirmed their mutual intention to continue bilateral security coordination and cooperation," stressing that the redeployment of the U.S. and coalition forces is based on "the increasing capacity of the Iraqi forces."

"The mission of U.S. and coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks," the statement added.

The Iraqi government in turn committed to protecting the international coalition personnel, convoys, and diplomatic facilities, it said, adding that the two sides emphasized that the current military bases, on which U.S. and coalition personnel are present, are Iraqi bases and their presence is only for supporting Iraq's efforts in the fight against the IS group.