Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hussein 

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March 26, 2024

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Matthew Miller: 

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Fuad Hussein.  The Secretary and the Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister discussed cooperation on security, economic, political, and diplomatic issues under the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. The two leaders previewed the upcoming U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee meeting and Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani’s meeting with President Biden on April 15. The Secretary encouraged efforts to enhance the Baghdad-Erbil relationship, bring economic benefits to all Iraqis, improve Iraq’s energy independence, strengthen Iraq’s ability to fully exercise its sovereignty, and promote stability and security for all Iraqis. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Higher Military Commission process, which will enable the transition to a durable bilateral security partnership between Iraq and the United States and help to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.


Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein Before Their Meeting


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s, as always, a great pleasure to have my friend and colleague Fuad Hussein, the foreign minister of Iraq, here at the State Department in Washington.

We look forward to Prime Minister Sudani’s visit to see President Biden in a few weeks’ time, as well as the meeting of our Higher Coordinating Committee, which is a critical piece of the Strategic Framework Agreement that really guides the 360-degree relationship between Iraq and the United States, a demonstration that our partnership crosses over many issues and many things that have a direct impact on the lives of Iraqis as well as Americans – everything from water to energy to the environment to the delivery of services.

So we very much look forward to preparing for that meeting as well as dealing with some of the immediate challenges on our plate.  But for us, Iraq is an important critical partner, critical to the stability of the region, and one, again, with which we have not only a longstanding relationship, but one that is comprehensive in the issues that it covers.

Fuad, it’s good to have you here today.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUSSEIN:  Thank you very much.  Thank you, my friend, my colleague Tony Blinken.  It is really a pleasure to be here and to have discussions about various topics which has to do with our bilateral relationship.  We were partners in the fight against ISIS, and we will stay partner in this fight.  Continuing the fighting against terrorism is our duty, and we did great job by defeating the so-called – the terrorist state of ISIS.

We are also partner in building our economy and working together in various fields.  I am very happy to be here to have discussion with various officials in this – in Washington, D.C.  And we are going to work together to continue our partnership in various fields, and we are expecting our prime minister to be in town.  And we will have discussion about also the situation in Middle East and the tension there, and we are going to work together also to have less tension in that area.

Thank you very much for your time, thank you very much for receiving me, and shake hands.  Okay.  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  As always.  Thank you.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  And I would add only one thing to what Fuad said, which is – I think it’s very important – that, unfortunately, we’d be reminded that ISIS remains a real threat.  And despite the very good work that we’ve done over the years in dealing with that threat and mitigating it significantly, we’re reminded by the horrific attack outside of Moscow just a few days ago that ISIS remains a potentially potent force and one that we have to continue to deal with.  We mourn the loss of so many innocent lives, people going to a concert outside of Moscow.  This is a very unfortunate reminder that we have to continue to deal with ISIS and make sure that it doesn’t revive and regenerate.  Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUSSEIN:  As we suffer from ISIS and we fought ISIS, I too – I condemn that attack.  And this means that ISIS is still a threat for the peace in Middle East but also for security and peace somewhere else.


FOREIGN MINISTER HUSSEIN:  Thank you very much.

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