The United States has moved a step closer to replacing the American-led international military coalition in Iraq with bilateral relations between the two nations. Sources familiar with the matter have disclosed that the process, initiated last year but temporarily halted due to the Israel-Hamas conflict, is now back on track.
However, it is expected to take months, if not years, before an agreement is finalized and troops start their withdrawal.
According to reports from Reuters, US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski delivered a letter to Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday, expressing the American government’s interest in resuming negotiations.
An American official stated, “The US and Iraq are close to agreement on starting the Higher Military Commission dialogue that was announced back in August.” The commission aims to assess Iraq’s capacity to combat ISIS and influence the nature of the bilateral security relationship.
Despite the previous stance that attacks on American troops by Iranian-backed local militant groups needed to cease before negotiations, this precondition seems to have been abandoned by Washington. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani also emphasized the urgency of reaching a deal promptly, pointing to the escalating number of attacks on US troops in the nation.