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Immediate Release

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting in Washington With Defense Minister Thabet al-Abbasi of Iraq

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig Gen Pat Ryder provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet al-Abbasi at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. today during the inaugural U.S.-Iraq Joint Security Cooperation Dialogue (JSCD). Secretary Austin lauded the JSCD for its importance in advancing an enduring U.S.-Iraq security partnership. The JSCD builds upon the July 2021 U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, which reaffirmed commitment to the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement, resulted in the departure from Iraq of U.S. forces with a combat role by December 2021, and led to a full transition of the military mission to training, advising, assisting, and sharing intelligence with the Iraqi Security Forces.  
Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership and underscored U.S. commitment to a secure, stable, and sovereign Iraq. He praised the tremendous progress made by the Iraqi Security Forces in the campaign to achieve the enduring defeat of ISIS and underscored his view that the terrorist group remains a threat. Secretary Austin affirmed the United States' commitment to continue training, advising, assisting, and sharing intelligence with the Iraqi Security Forces at the invitation of the Iraqi government.
Secretary Austin expressed his appreciation for Iraq's commitment to reducing the number of detained ISIS fighters and displaced persons in northeast Syria, and encouraged the Iraqi delegation to continue repatriating, rehabilitating, reintegrating, and, where appropriate, prosecuting Iraqi nationals residing in northeast Syria.