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March 8, 2023

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of I

March 7, 2023

Today in Baghdad, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani and Iraqi Minister of Defense Thabit al Abbasi to reaffirm the U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership and underscore the U.S. commitment to a secure, stable, and sovereign Iraq. Secretary Austin affirmed U.S. and Coalition commitment to advising, assisting, and enabling the Iraqi Security Forces, at the invitation of the Government of Iraq, to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.

Secretary Austin praised the tremendous progress made by the Iraqi Security Forces as they lead the fight against ISIS and encouraged continued repatriations of displaced persons and ISIS detainees from northeast Syria.

Secretary Austin and Prime Minister Sudani renewed their mutual commitment to long-term defense cooperation as a key pillar of the 360-degree U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership. Secretary Austin invited the Iraqi team to a Joint Defense Dialogue, which will be convened under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and within the construct of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, to advance the defense partnership.