'We are not at war with the U.S.'

Iraqi foreign minister calls for negotiations on American troop withdrawal amid tensions

BAGHDAD, January 11 — Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein spoke in a recent interview with Al-Hadath channel, made a number of key statements:

Negotiations are imperative for scheduling the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, with a decision to be reached subsequently.

Although the negotiation process with Washington regarding troop withdrawal has paused, dialogue continues despite recent unacceptable events, marked by attacks and counterattacks.

An announcement of the negotiations’ start date at the highest level with Washington is imminent. The American side says that it cannot engage in withdrawal talks amid an ongoing armed conflict.

A decision to de-escalate tensions with Washington has been made, leading to the start of withdrawal negotiations. We emphasize the fact that American forces and the coalition operate in Iraq at the official request of the Iraqi government.

Iraq retains the authority to determine the necessity of American forces’ presence, and emphasizes that disturbing the current security situation is impermissible by any external or internal entity.

The Baghdad-Washington relationship will persist, and we are not at war. Changes in dynamics do not imply a desire for chaotic relations with America.

People want political leaders’ decisions on the American withdrawal issue, and addressing attacks on military bases is a shared responsibility.

The Prime Minister is actively engaging with all parties for calm, as approximately 141 attacks have been recorded in the Kurdistan Region in recent months, targeting not only the Harir base but also residential areas and key headquarters.

Some Iraqi military personnel and American soldiers were in Harir base previously, but currently there are no Iraqi or American forces there. And rumors of Mossad presence at Harir base are false.

Attacking diplomatic staff violates Iraqi security.

We emphasize and call for rational internal dialogue on sovereignty and security issues. Iraq’s challenges are partially attributed to the American-Iranian conflict.

There has been no recent conveyance of American messages to Iran due to the tense atmosphere in Iraq. Communication with Iran is planned regarding the detention of a Tanzanian tanker in Iraqi regional waters.

Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah do not want to widen the Gaza war further.

Extensive meetings in Turkey aim to establish a security agreement akin to the one with Iran.