Iraq criticizes US Ambassador nominee's remarks on internal affairs

Iraq criticizes US Ambassador nominee's remarks on internal affairs

Shafaq News / An Iraqi security advisor has criticized comments made by Tracey Ann Jacobson, the nominee for US ambassador to Iraq, during her Senate hearing, saying they were inappropriate for her diplomatic role.

"We listened to the hearing of the nominee for the position of US Ambassador to Iraq, and it showed a clear lack of understanding of the new, recovering Iraq, with interference in its internal affairs and offense to its neighbors," Khaled Al-Yaqoubi, the security advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, stated on X.

Al-Yaqoubi added that Jacobson should be aware that her remarks do not align with the responsibilities of her prospective position and that her mission should adhere strictly to international agreements and treaties.

He hoped Jacobson's performance would enhance the positive relations between the two countries, especially as Iraq and the United States work towards strengthening their bilateral ties and honoring the sacrifices made to defeat terrorism.

Jacobson, who President Joe Biden nominated to replace Alina Romanowski, emphasized her gratitude to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for their confidence in her nomination during her opening statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She pledged to work closely with the committee to advance US interests in Iraq.

With over 30 years of experience in the State Department, including previous ambassadorial roles in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kosovo, Jacobson highlighted her qualifications to enhance US interests in Iraq. She stressed the importance of protecting American citizens and strengthening the US-Iraq partnership to support shared strategies.

Jacobson highlighted the need to bolster Iraq's security and sovereignty, acknowledging that the threat of ISIS remains in the region. She also noted the critical support provided by the US military to Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga in Kurdistan, stating that it is time for the US military to transition to a new role focused on defeating ISIS and ensuring Iraq's security.

Jacobson pointed out that fostering Iraq's relationships with its neighbors is crucial, praising steps taken by Prime Minister Al-Sudani in this regard. She highlighted the importance of economic development and efficient governance in reducing terrorism's appeal and diminishing the influence of Iran-aligned groups, which she identified as a significant threat to Iraq's future.

In her remarks, Jacobson also pledged to support Treasury Department efforts to modernize Iraq's banking system and prevent Iran from using gas supplies as leverage against Iraq.

Jacobson warned of Iran's destabilizing activities in the region, emphasizing that Iran-backed groups pose a substantial risk to Iraq's stability. She committed to using all available political means to counter this threat and limit Iran's influence.

Jacobson's commitment to enhancing key sectors such as energy and banking aims to achieve Iraq's independence from external interference and integrate it into the global system for sustainable development and economic stability.

Her testimony precedes the Senate vote on her appointment, marking a strategic shift in US foreign policy toward the Middle East. Jacobson concluded by affirming her dedication to protecting US interests and working towards the stability and security of Iraq if confirmed.

In January 2024, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Tracy Ann Jacobson as the US Ambassador to Iraq.

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