Tracy Jacobson: I will advance American interests and fight militia influence in Iraq

Tracy Jacobson: I will advance American interests and fight militia influence in Iraq

Tracy Jacobson - I will advance American interests and fight militia influence in IraqShafaq News / Tracy Jacobson, US President Joe Biden’s nominee for the position of US Ambassador to Iraq, gave her opening remarks before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In her speech, Jacobson expressed her gratitude to President Biden and the Secretary of State for their confidence in her nomination for this vital position.

Jacobson, who has more than 30 years of experience in the State Department, confirmed that she will work closely with the committee to advance American interests in Iraq.

“If confirmed, my top priorities will be protecting American citizens and strengthening our bilateral partnership to support our shared strategies and interests,” she said.

She pointed to her previous experience as US Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kosovo, as well as as Chargé d’Affairs at the US Embassy in Ethiopia, stressing that these experiences made her more qualified to promote US interests in Iraq.

Regarding security, Jacobson stressed the importance of enhancing the stability, security and sovereignty of Iraq, noting that ISIS still poses a threat in the region.

She added: “Our army provides vital support to the Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga in the Kurdistan Region. Ten years after our forces returned to Iraq to fight ISIS, it is time for our army to move into a new role. I will ensure that any transition from Operation Inherent Resolve to a bilateral security arrangement is directed towards Defeating ISIS and ensuring Iraq’s security.”

Jacobson also stressed the importance of Iraq strengthening its relations with its neighbors, noting the positive steps taken by the Sudanese Prime Minister in this direction.

Jacobson pointed out that the presence of economic development, and a government capable of providing services to its people, reduces the attraction of terrorism and also reduces the influence of militias allied with Iran, which pose a great danger to the future of the country.

She said, “Iran is a malicious actor in Iraq and destabilizes the region. We realize that the main threat to Iraq is the militias allied with Iran.”

Jacobson also confirmed that she would continue to support Treasury measures to modernize the Iraqi banking system, and stressed that she would not “allow Iran to use the gas supplied to operate the stations as a weapon against Iraq.”

On the other hand, Jacobson warned of “Iran’s evil intentions and its continued role in disturbing the security situation in the region,” stressing that “the Iranian-backed militias pose a great threat to the stability of Iraq, and that they will work with all available political means to confront this threat and limit Iranian influence.”

In the context of supporting Iraq, Jacobson announced her commitment to strengthening vital sectors such as energy and banking, with the aim of achieving Iraq’s independence, protecting it from external interference, and linking it to the global system to achieve sustainable development and enhance economic stability.

It should be noted that this opening speech comes prior to the vote on Jacobson’s appointment as US Ambassador to Iraq, which represents a new strategic step in US foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Jacobson concluded her speech by emphasizing her commitment to protecting American interests and working for the stability and security of Iraq if her appointment is confirmed.

On January 26, 2024, US President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Tracy Ann Jacobson for the position of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iraq, replacing Elena Romanski.

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