Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at Iraq’s parliament, says the upcoming round of talks between Baghdad and Washington must lead to a complete withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
Commenting on the third round of the so-called strategic dialogue scheduled for Wednesday, Amiri said, “We expect that the brave and zealous Iraqi negotiating team will achieve full national sovereignty and end the presence of foreign forces by setting a clear timetable with short intervals for the withdrawal of combat troops and the restoration of the security apparatus’ control over Iraq’s air bases in Ain al-Asad and al-Harir as well as the Iraqi airspace.”
“We will closely follow the outcome of this round of talks,” Amiri said in a statement carried by al-Sumaria TV network.
Over the weekend, a prominent Iraqi anti-terror group emphasized that armed resistance and operations against American occupation forces would continue until their full withdrawal.
The ‘strategic dialogue’ is not welcomed by some resistance groups in Iraq.
Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesman for the Hezbollah Brigades, one of those groups, said on Wednesday, “It has no value because the Iraqi people have already decided that they want an end to the American occupation.”
He said the resistance group would not stop pressuring the United States to exit.
The talks began in June 2020 under the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
On January 5 that year, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill which requires the Baghdad government to end the presence of all foreign military forces in the country.
The parliament’s move was prompted by the January 3 assassination in Baghdad of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, in a cowardly drone strike authorized by Trump.
It is estimated that there are currently 2,500 US troops deployed in Iraq.