FILE PHOTO: U.S. soldiers gather at a military base north of Mosul, Iraq, January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin /File Photo
CAIRO – 18 January 2020: Talks are undergoing between Washington and the Iraqi government to review the security relations between both countries, and discuss the future of the U.S. forces in Iraq, revealed Spokesperson for the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf.
“The Iraqi government is conducting dialogues with the United States regarding security relations, and Iraq has observations and proposed related to this matter, and [Iraqi government] will work to avoid any conflict with its sovereignty,” said Khalaf, adding that “negotiations have not ended yet.”
Earlier last week, it was reported that negotiations between both sides to begin and continue for months or a year. One of the announced proposals were that NATO to remain in Iraq, while the U.S. forces remain as part of the alliance.
The Iraqi parliament, earlier this month, adopted a resolution obliging the government to end the presence of any foreign forces on Iraqi soil, and prevent it from using its lands, airspace and water for any reason.
Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi later announced that he had asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to send delegates to Iraq to put in place the mechanisms for implementing the decisions of the Iraqi parliament for a safe withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
The prime minister added that American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, which is a violation of the bilateral agreements.
Washington responded by rejecting the withdrawal, and said that any delegation to be sent to Iraq will discuss “how to best recommit strategic partnership - not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East,” AP quoted Pompeo’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.