With a view to future relations between the United States and Iraq, the two countries began a series of higher-level strategic dialogues in June 2020.
The fourth of these high-level meetings took place in late July in Washington D.C., and underscored the wide-ranging scope of U.S. support for Iraq. The question of Iraq’s security was high on the agenda. The two countries have worked together for many years to ward off threats to Iraq and its people, particularly terrorism. As Secretary Antony Blinken said, the two countries are “the closest of partners in the fight against ISIS.”
“But I think what today is demonstrating is that the partnership between the United States and Iraq is much broader and deeper than even the common fight against ISIS.
“The United States is proud to be partnered with Iraq in meeting some of the most important challenges of our time, whether it’s the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with climate change, or making investments in renewable energy.”
For example, the United States will donate 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, medical equipment and training for medical personnel. The United States also recently announced another 155 million dollars in additional humanitarian assistance to provide shelter, healthcare, food, water, and hygiene services across Iraq.
To help Iraq adapt to the climate crisis, the United States will provide technical assistance for clean energy.
“Whether it is as the leading provider of humanitarian assistance to Iraq, or building opportunity for Iraqis, this partnership has tremendous breadth as well as tremendous depth.”
Indeed, the United States has also provided 9.7 million dollars to the UN Mission for Iraq, or UNAMI, for technical electoral-assistance work.
“The United States is proud to be leading international efforts to support Iraq’s elections in October, free and fair elections, so that the Iraqi people can have their voices heard and choose their leaders.”
And finally, the United States is supporting Iraq in helping communities that were targeted by ISIS recover. Likewise, efforts in demonstrating cultural appreciation have been made, by providing assistance to archaeological preservation projects in Babylon, Mosul, Erbil, and other vulnerable sites, many of which were damaged by ISIS.
“Most of all,” said Secretary Blinken, “we are proceeding together in partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interests, and the work we’re doing today is going to carry that forward.”