Pledge to end presence in current term

Government spox reiterates plan to end international mission

BAGHDAD, January 28 — Basim Al-Awadi, spokesperson for the Iraqi government, announced today that Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani has committed to concluding the mission of the international coalition during his current term. This move began with the first meeting of the Joint High Military Committee.

Al-Awadi, in a statement to 964media, noted, “The start of the Joint High Military Committee’s work between Iraq and the international coalition marks a significant milestone. The coalition, formed in 2014 and concluded military operations in 2018, has since maintained a presence in Iraq.” He emphasized the importance of beginning the process to assess the future of the coalition and to develop a mutually agreed roadmap for transitioning into a new phase of bilateral cooperation.

He further stated that years after liberation, it’s time to reassess the coalition’s mission, focusing on its contributions to threat analysis, development of Iraqi forces in combat, training, intelligence, and armament capabilities, and their national duty to protect Iraqi territory. Al-Awadi stressed that the coalition’s indefinite presence is not feasible.

Al-Awadi also mentioned that Prime Minister Sudani, at the Davos conference, highlighted two crucial issues: the need to end the international coalition’s mission for Iraq’s stability and to maintain and build a positive relationship with coalition forces. The goals include ensuring Iraqi stability, fostering equitable relations with coalition countries, and fulfilling the government’s commitment to conclude the coalition’s mission.

“The dialogue between the international coalition forces and the Iraqi government has begun, spearheaded by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani, signaling the start of the coalition’s mission conclusion in Iraq,” Al-Awadi said. He confirmed the Prime Minister’s pledge to end the coalition’s mission during his current term.

He clarified that since June 2014, the Iraqi governments have viewed the coalition forces as advisors, not combat troops. Concluding the coalition’s mission will involve the withdrawal of all forces from Iraqi territory and moving towards a new phase of military and security cooperation.

Al-Awadi concluded, “All tasks of the international coalition forces will transition to the Iraqi armed forces, advancing bilateral relations and agreements, including the Strategic Framework Agreement or bilateral relations suited to the current stage’s needs with the coalition countries.”