According to News i Agency’s International Group, a new round of strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington is scheduled to begin tomorrow (July 23rd), which will be the prelude to the upcoming meeting and meeting of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi with US President Joe Biden.
Newspaper “The new Arab”The fourth round of this strategic dialogue is different from the previous three rounds, and the Iraqi Prime Minister is facing many complications and difficulties in this round of talks,” Bashir al-Bakr wrote in a report entitled “US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, Al-Kazemi’s Hard Mission in Washington.” Is.
“Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi stands at a crossroads between Tehran and Washington, trying not to anger any of them, as each tries to attract him,” the memo said. “This is something that, if it happens, will upset the Iraqi equation and keep Iraq away from a policy of polarization that it cannot tolerate in the current context.”
According to the memo, al-Kadhimi’s calculations are based on achieving a logical balance with respect to international tensions and the regions around Iraq. He hopes to get out of this stage with minimal damage. Because if he wants to continue working in the political field, he has no other choice.
Al-Kazemi tactics to maintain power
The author emphasizes: “To achieve the necessary political quorum, he uses a political tactic based on two things: the first is internal, which is summarized in the control and control of the organization” Al-Hashd Al-Shabi “. An organization that has become a major military and political force. This explains the main reason for al-Kadhimi’s support for the organization’s large military parade in the past 26 months. In doing so, he obtained the necessary paperwork, thus paving his way to Tehran without hindrance. “It can act from a position of power inside Iraq.”
According to the author, “But so far it seems that the Iraqi Prime Minister has not been able to get enough agreement from all sides, and he is moving like someone moving in the middle of a field of dangerous mines, and by Washington and al-Hashd al-Shabi.” “It is under pressure that has increased significantly in recent months.”
The memo goes on to say that the United States believes that the Iraqi government has made good efforts to counter Iranian influence, but needs to do more to curb its influence at home. According to the report, “The recent US attack on one of al-Hashd al-Shabi headquarters on the Iraqi-Syrian border sent a message to al-Kadhimi that he is under pressure from al-Hashd al-Shabi groups to withdraw US troops from Iraq. These groups say [بر اساس مصوبه پارلمان] Al-Kadhimi’s government has been given enough time to withdraw all foreign troops from Iraq through diplomatic and political means, but it has failed to do so and has taken no practical action, despite three rounds of talks in June, August 2020 and April 2021. Is”.
Different rounds of strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington
The fourth round of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, to be held in Washington on July 26, appears to be different from the previous three rounds of talks. Political observers say the Iraqi government’s mission will not be easy due to the complexity of bilateral cases, international and regional developments and intersections. It is unknown at this time what he will do after his second visit to the US capital in less than a year, following al-Kazemi’s involvement in the round of talks. Especially since he is meeting Joe Biden for the first time as President of the United States.
According to the report, while the results of al-Kazemi’s visit to the United States last August led to support from the previous administration, the position of al-Kazemi’s government has changed since the third round of strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington. The situation differed from the attacks and counterattacks by US forces and al-Hashd al-Shabi in recent months, after the United States fully relied on al-Kadhimi’s promises to contain al-Hashd al-Shabi groups on political and field fronts.
The author emphasizes: “Al-Kadhimi in the middle of last month, in a significant statement from Brussels, after the NATO summit, called for Iraq to stay away from the center of regional conflicts on the one hand and international conflicts on the other. “Iraq’s security is affected by regional security, and regional security can only be achieved by adhering to international resolutions that require all parties to the traditional conflict to abide by international law.”
“The Iraqi Prime Minister makes these remarks at a time when Iraq has become an arena for American-Iranian confrontation and the exchange of messages between the two sides,” the memo continued. Al-Kazemi went even further, emphasizing the need for less than three weeks before the start of the fourth round of strategic talks with Washington. End the presence of foreign forces Not only that, he stressed the need to set a timetable for their withdrawal. “Washington and Baghdad agreed on this in the third round of strategic talks last April.”
Washington’s confidence in Baghdad has been shaken
According to Bashir al-Bakr, the third round of strategic talks focused on ending the US military presence (500 troops) and limiting the remaining units (3,200 troops) to training Iraqi forces. According to Iraqi diplomatic sources, trust in al-Kadhimi in Washington has been shaken and all previous agreements have been revised. For this reason, there have been attacks on al-Hashd al-Shabi groups, the most important of which is the bombing of the “Book of the Martyrs” Was, took place.
In such a situation, an important question arises about the consequences of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq if the fourth round of talks leads to an agreement in this regard. This issue has been raised for a long time, since 2008, but it has been delayed due to the developments that have taken place in recent years. It has been an internal Iraqi issue since 170 of the 329 members of the Iraqi parliament voted on January 3, 2020, after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy head of al-Hashd al-Shabi. .
According to the memo, the US withdrawal was one of the priorities of the previous US administration and was on the agenda of the meeting between former US President Donald Trump and Al-Kazemi last August. “The role of US forces in Iraq is limited to training and counterterrorism with Iraqi special forces,” said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command.
Contrary to the Pentagon’s view, Trump was in a hurry to withdraw large numbers of his troops from Iraq before the US presidential election last November, and he intended to withdraw US troops from Iraq immediately because he believed “The country does not currently need direct military support, and the level of assistance should be commensurate with the variables and threats.”
Closed-door talks between Washington, Ankara and Erbil
In the final part of the joint meeting in Washington, Ankara, and Erbil, the author writes that today the United States is clearly concerned about the vacuum in Iraq after the withdrawal of American troops. Closed-door talks between the United States, Turkey and Kurdistan to confront the new situation and cut off the way for Iran were in this regard, in which Al-Kazemi also participated. According to a well-informed Kurdish source close to the leaders of the Kurdistan Region, al-Kadhimi is seeking support in the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10th. “An election in which the parties in the region are concerned about the votes that parties close to Iran will get in the Iraqi parliament and in Iraqi government institutions.”
News i / p