Lawmakers Blast Biden’s Meeting With Iraqi PM

( – The United States and the Republic of Iraq established the Strategic Framework Agreement in 2008. The purpose was to outline and affirm the terms of a previous declaration for long-term cooperation and alliance between the countries. On March 22, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that Iraq’s prime minister was coming to Washington, and a few Republican lawmakers had strong feelings about the subject.

Six days later, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and several other members of Congress sent President Joe Biden a letter opposing the visit from Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’a Al-Sudani. The lawmakers believe the visit shows the administration is “appeasing Iran” and “undermin[ing] Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.” Cotton and the others explained that Iraq financially supports Iran-backed militias who’ve attacked Americans and the Kurds nearly 200 times since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. They believe hosting the prime minister and not even inviting the Kurdistan PM is a bad move.

The letter gave the president advice on several preconditions he should set before Sudani is allowed to visit. Those include opening the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline to supply the Kurdistan Region with the ability to export oil and forcing the Iraqi government to “resume funding for the Kurdistan Region.” Cotton and the other legislators, including Senators Ted Budd (R-NC), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN), claimed Biden was “endanger[ing] American national security” and damaging allied relations by appeasing Iran. They demanded “corrective actions” to begin repairing the believed missteps.

Jean-Pierre’s previous announcement said the reason for the visit was to reaffirm both leaders’ “commitment to the Strategic Framework Agreement and deepen their shared vision” for Iraq. She said they would address several issues, including firming up commitments to defeat ISIS, financial reforms for Iraq, and the Middle Eastern country’s preparations for “Iraq’s energy independence and modernization.”

The White House had not formally responded to the letter from the GOP congressional members.

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