A senior official with Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, whose group is part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), has warned against granting concessions to the United States in the forthcoming negotiations between Baghdad and Washington, stating that any talks that would not result in the pullout of US troops are rejected.
“Any talks that would not take into account the decision of the Iraqi nation, parliament and government concerning a complete and immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from the entire Iraqi territories are rejected, non-binding and illegal. We would not recognize them no matter under what circumstances they might have been conducted or who would have endorsed them,” the deputy secretary-general and official spokesman for the movement, Nasr al-Shammari, wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page.
His remarks came in response to a number of reports that the US military is exploring avenues to prolong its stay in Iraq, and circumvent the parliament's resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
Karim al-Muhammadawi, a member of the Iraqi parliament's committee on security and defense, told Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency in an exclusive interview on June 4 that the legislature will reject any negotiations between Baghdad and Washington that would result in extension of US military deployment in the country.
“The negotiations between Washington and Baghdad, which are to start in the middle of this month, would fail to produce any tangible results if they do not discuss the withdrawal of US forces from the country,” he said.
Muhammadawi noted, “The parliament will reject any negotiations between the two sides in case they result in the extension of US military presence in Iraq.”
Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's PMU, and their companions in a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two days earlier.
Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.
The 78-year-old politician said Iraq rejected any violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the assassination airstrike.
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