Clinton Vows U.S. Won’t Abandon Iraq to Iranian Influence After Withdrawal

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed today that the U.S. won’t abandon Iraq to unwanted meddling by neighbors such as Iran.

“To countries in the region, especially Iraq’s neighbors, we want to emphasize that America will stand with our allies and friends, including Iraq, in defense of our common security and interests,” Clinton said today during a press conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. “We will have a robust and continuing presence throughout the region.”

Clinton’s remarks come the day after President Barack Obama announced that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year, fulfilling a campaign promise and ending one of the longest conflicts in U.S. history.

“As the president said yesterday, this marks a new phase in our relations with Iraq,” she said. “This will open a new chapter in our relationship.”

She said the withdrawal won’t end the U.S. commitment to the country, which will keep a large contingent of Americans posted at the U.S. embassy. “America is with you as you take your next steps in your journey to secure your democracy.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira A.R. Lakshmanan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, at ilakshmanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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