Washington has paused some of the military activity of its troops in Iraq, which were invited back into the country in 2014 as part of a mission to fight the Islamic State militant group in both Iraq and Syria, after withdrawing three years earlier.
“We are looking forward to sitting down and having a broad discussion with the Iraqi government of our entire strategic framework relationship in the near future,” James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria, told Reuters.
Jeffrey said U.S.-led coalition operations were still on pause in Iraq as the focus has been on force protection and talks with the Baghdad government on the way forward.
Iraq is an ally of both the United States and Iran, and has had to balance those relationships carefully at a time of escalation between the two foes. Recent months have seen demonstrations in Iraq against both countries’ influence.
President Donald Trump responded angrily to demands from Baghdad that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq, even threatening to impose sanctions if the troops were forced out. He met Iraq’s president, Barham Salih, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last week.
Jeffrey said the United States supports a possible future role by NATO in Iraq and Syria.