Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 2, 2012

The Governments of the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America reaffirmed their strategic partnership during a meeting of the Political and Diplomatic Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on September 2, in Baghdad.

This meeting, held at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was co-chaired by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Ambassador Elizabeth Jones. The JCCs were established by the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States to strengthen our bilateral strategic partnership on a variety of initiatives, including Defense and Security, Energy, Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation, Education and Culture, Science and Environment, Trade and Finance, and Transportation Cooperation.

During the meeting, the delegations discussed international efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Syria and explored areas of potential cooperation, particularly on humanitarian issues and technical advice on border security. Both sides remain fully committed to a Syrian-led political transition leading to a pluralistic political system representing the will of the Syrian people. The United States acknowledged Iraqi efforts to provide shelter and services to Syrians who have sought refuge in Iraq.

The United States praised Iraqi efforts to resolve Chapter VII issues regarding its relationship with Kuwait, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 833. The United States is committed to working with both Iraq and Kuwait to resolve remaining Chapter VII issues.

The two sides discussed Iraq’s plans for its next provincial and national elections scheduled for 2013 and 2014. The United States pledged to assist Iraqi implementation of this next essential step in the development of Iraq’s democracy.

The United States and Iraq discussed the ongoing process of repatriating archives and documents which are part of the patrimony of the Iraqi people.

The United States praised Iraq’s recent decision to sign the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Finally, the United States and Iraq agreed to explore options for expanded consultation between Department of State and Ministry of Foreign Affairs personnel, potentially to include joint training, professional exchanges, and more frequent policy planning discussions.

The United States and the Republic of Iraq committed to convene the Political and Diplomatic JCC quarterly over the coming year.