Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Iraq’s new Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein by phone on Tuesday.
“Secretary Pompeo congratulated Foreign Minister Hussein on his new role and noted that he looks forward to working together to advance issues of mutual importance,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “He also congratulated the Iraqi government for completing its government formation. The secretary and the foreign minister discussed the US-Iraq strategic dialogue and both agreed that this was an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen ties.”
Why it matters: The Iraqi Parliament confirmed Hussein to his new post last week alongside six other new cabinet members, rounding out Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s new government. Also last week, the United States and Iraq convened a strategic dialogue in which Washington agreed to withdraw some American troops while maintaining others to continue the fight against the remnants of the Islamic State. The Kadhimi government in turn has committed to protecting US forces, and Iraqi forces successfully thwarted rocket attacks targeting US troops over the weekend.
What’s next: Washington and Baghdad will continue their strategic dialogue with a second meeting, possibly as soon as next month.
Know more: Mustafa Saadoun has the story on how Iraq is keeping the pressure on the Islamic State by targeting its leaders.