BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – After a tense week in U.S.-Iraqi relations, the prime minister and the U.S. ambassador issued a rare joint statement Friday in which Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to a “good and strong” relationship with the United States.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, said a U.S. soldier died following combat in Diyala province northeast of the capital, raising to 97 the number of American forces killed in Iraq during October, now the fourth-deadliest month since the war began.

The joint statement said that Iraq “made clear the issues that must be resolved with timelines for them to take positive steps forward.”

At least 2,810 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

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