WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A group of US Republican lawmakers are using their Easter recess to travel to the United Kingdom, Jordan and Iraq to discuss how the countries can strengthen security cooperation, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner announced in a statement.
“During a visit to Iraq on Monday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and senior lawmakers met with the country’s leaders and our ambassador [Stuart Jones] and commanders on the ground to assess efforts to defeat ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and combat Iran’s rising influence,” the statement, issued on Tuesday, said.
“The United States must carefully manage the mission to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL to ensure it does not come at the expense of ceding Iraq’s strategic independence to Iran, which does not seek to keep the country whole,” Boehner said in the statement.
On Friday, Boehner and the Republican lawmakers started their trip off to England where they met Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, and then went to Jordan on Sunday to meet with King Abdullah II.
The Republican lawmakers’ visit comes as Iran and the P5+1 group of negotiators from Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, try to reach an agreement on guaranteeing that Tehran will maintain a peaceful nuclear program — one that Israel has continuously disproved.
The deadline for reaching an agreement on the political framework of the deal was set for midnight on Tuesday, March 31, but has been extended until Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the final deadline on reaching agreement has been postponed several times, with the most recent set for July 1, 2015.