Iraq’s PM invited to meet with U.S. President Biden at the White House. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York and was invited to the White House by President Joe Biden, a State Department official said.
Iraqi state media stated that Sudani, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, would announce the official visit to Washington later.
Since Sudani was selected by a coalition of Shi’ite Muslim groups close to Tehran last year, Biden and Sudani have not met.
He has subsequently walked a diplomatic tightrope between the U.S. and Iran, which have fought in Iraq.
Sudani and Blinken “renewed their commitment to continue strengthening the partnership between the two countries,” say State Department official.
Iraq has been a close U.S. partner since the 2003 invasion, and both countries say they want to expand their partnership beyond defense and counter-terrorism to economic collaboration.
Blinken “underscored U.S. support” for reopening a pipeline connecting Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and Turkey, which has been blocked since March.
Turkey stated this week that the pipeline, which supplies 0.5% of global oil, will restart operations soon, but Baghdad and Ankara may have disagreed.
Blinken also “commended the Prime Minister’s commitment to judicial independence in Iraq’s recent conviction and sentencing of multiple individuals on terrorism charges in connection with the killing of U.S. citizen Stephen Troell.”
Last month, Iraq condemned an Iranian man and four Iraqis to life in jail for Troell’s November 2022 murder in a central Baghdad middle-class neighborhood.
Court officials said the four Iraqis were Shi’ite Muslim militia members but did not name them.