Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday said Iranian militias stationed in Iraq need to leave the war-torn nation and give it the opportunity to stand on its own.
"Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)] is coming to a close, those militias need to go home," Tillerson said during a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh.
"Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control of areas that had been overtaken by ISIS and Daesh that have now been liberated, allow the Iraqi people to rebuild their lives with the help of their neighbors," he continued.
Tillerson participated in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, which aims to strengthen economic relations and improve regional ties.
Tillerson also said an effort to counter Iranian influence will help Iraqis begin to rebuild and restore their nation.
"I think this agreement that has been put in place between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq is a crucial element to assisting the Iraqi people to do that, and in doing so it will strengthen the relationship, again, between Iraq with the Arab world," the secretary said.
Al-Jubeir in his remarks pointed to the many ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
"The commission was made by both countries to try to work as diligently as we can in order to build the best possible relations," he said.
"It is pretty important that our two countries have the best of ties in all areas," he added.