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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2701

US remains committed to Iraq: Clinton

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 28 April, (Asiantribune.com): Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assured Iraqi leaders that as the United States draws down its troops in Iraq, it remains committed to to Iraq's government and people.

The secretary met yesterday with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Iraqi citizens to get their perspectives on Iraq's political, security and economic progress. Newly confirmed US Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill also participated in the discussions.

"It is encouraging to both see and hear about the progress that is being made in Iraq," Clinton said adding "our strategy working with you may be in a new phase, but we pledge our full and continuing commitment to Iraq and the Iraqi people."

As the United States draws down militarily in Iraq, it will deepen its civilian cooperation in accordance with the strategic framework agreement, Clinton said. "We will work on development and diplomatic initiatives and a regional agenda that includes border security and refugees," she explained.

The United States is committed to ensuring Iraq is sovereign, stable, self-reliant and fully integrated into the region, Clinton said.

Toward that end, the US military is working toward an orderly transition of responsibility to the Iraqi security forces. "We continue to help train and equip these forces so they will take the lead in safeguarding their country," she said.

Zebari called Clinton's message reassuring, particularly as Iraq and the US-Iraqi relationship go through an important transition.

"There is no doubt that there are serious security and economic challenges that are facing Iraq," he said. "Therefore, we will continue to rely on the continuation of U.S. commitment and support to both the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people to enable them to face those challenges."

- Asian Tribune -

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