BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:40 P.M.) – Iraq announced on Wednesday that it had concluded an agreement with the United States to reduce the number of American forces present on its soil.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said after his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that it had been agreed to withdraw 500 American troops from Iraq.
“The number of American forces in Iraq has decreased to 2,500, after coordination with Washington on scheduling the withdrawal of American forces,” Hussein said.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry had earlier announced its agreement with the United States to gradually reduce the American forces in the country according to a timetable.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein said at a press conference in Baghdad: “In the past period we had meetings with the American side to discuss the mechanisms and outcomes of the strategic dialogue between the two parties. The withdrawal of 500 additional soldiers, and thus we will reach 2,500 soldiers in Iraq. ”
The minister continued, “We have confirmed that there will be timelines for scheduling the withdrawal.”
He stressed that: “With regard to future work with the coalition forces and the American side, joint work will continue in the field of intelligence sharing, air cover, military advice, support and training for Iraqi forces,” adding that work continues as well with NATO forces.
Hussein added: “The American forces that will remain in Iraq are not fighting,” stressing that “the goal is to reach the sustainable victory of the Iraqi forces.”