WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, today released the following statement ahead of today’s White House visit of Prime Minister al-Kadhimi of the Republic of Iraq.

“This is a critical time for the United States and Iraq. A strong partnership with the Iraqi government is crucial in promoting a democratic and independent Iraq free from Iran’s malign and destabilizing influence in the region, preventing a resurgence of ISIS, and protecting America’s interests in the Middle East. While ISIS no longer has a territorial caliphate, Iraq still faces major governance, security, economic, and humanitarian challenges. Recently, these challenges have been great—from the fall of oil prices to widespread popular protests to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic—all while they continue to rebuild their country and disperse of the remains of ISIS. We hope that today’s visit will lay the groundwork for an enduring relationship between our countries and for a strong and independent Iraq that tackles corruption, professionalizes its security forces, and is accountable and responsive to its citizens. We stand together as partners in supporting Iraq’s efforts to achieve a secure and prosperous future which will benefit all Iraqis and act as a stabilizing force in the region.”