U.S. gives assurances to Iraq on security

July 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM
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BAGHDAD, July 1 (UPI) -- The United States remains committed to helping Iraq deal with national security issues lingering after the war, a visiting U.S. diplomat said.

U.S. combat forces pulled out of Iraq in December 2011 under the terms of a bilateral strategic forces agreement. Iraq has since held a series of successful elections, though its national security has deteriorated since the end of the U.S. engagement.

The U.S. State Department said Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns met in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister to discuss national security issues.

"In all of his meetings, the deputy secretary reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to help Iraq overcome the threat of terrorism and to continue working with Iraq's leaders and people to strengthen the U.S.-Iraq relationship under the strategic framework agreement," the State Department said in a Sunday statement.

A U.N. report on Iraq published last month said at least 3,200 civilians were killed and another 10,000 were injured in violent attacks last year. The human rights situation in Iraq is in decline because of mounting violence, the report said.

May was the deadliest in Iraq in five years. More than 1,000 civilians and security officials died in terrorist attacks or other acts of violence.

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