Alhurra-Iraq anchor Saadoun Dhamad interviewed Amb. Robert Stephen Beecroft at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. During the hour-long interview Amb. Beecroft talked about the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq stating, the U.S. continues to engage with Iraq both economically and culturally. He cited the 31 percent increase in the number of Iraqi students studying in the United States last year as an example of that engagement. He also noted human rights training, for both the Iraqi government and non-governmental organizations as another example of the U.S.’s engagement.
In regards to neighboring Syria, Amb. Beecroft stated that the U.S. does not want to see the negative elements in Syria to have a role in Iraq or influence the Iraqi people. He went on to say that the best way to combat these negative elements is for Iraq to have an inclusive government that represents all groups. To have an all-encompassing government would benefit all Iraqis and strengthen the country’s role in the international community as well. Amb. Beecroft said the U.S. would like to see Iraq “as a leader and as a country that provides constructive solutions to the problems of the region and provides positive leadership.”