US Pledges Continued Support for Kurdistan

The United States and its allies will continue to provide support and assistance to the Kurdistan Region, a visiting US delegation told Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday.

The Prime Minister, along with a number of senior Kurdistan Regional Government officials yesterday in Erbil welcomed the United States Deputy National Secretary Advisor Anthony Blinken and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the political developments and process in Iraq, the security situation across the region as well as the process of forming the new Iraqi government. The United States delegation thanked the Kurdistan Region for agreeing to participate in the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s new government.‎

Both sides also discussed the current security situation given the threat from Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across Iraq, and agreed that given the urgency of the threat, there needs to be a joint plan by all sides inside Iraq who are fighting against ISIS coupled with cooperation with the international community. They also greed on the importance of the participation of Iraq’s Arab Sunnis and tribal forces in different areas so that ISIS terrorists can be defeated and routed out of the country.

The delegation praised the efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the peshmerga and the Kurdish people who have demonstrated their resistance against ISIS. It also praised the peshmerga’s liberation of a number of areas that had been occupied by the terrorist organisation.

The US delegation said that the United States did not hesitate to help Kurdistan when it was under threat from ISIS and reiterated that the United States and its allies will continue to support and provide assistance to Kurdistan.

The two sides went on to discuss the humanitarian situation. The US delegation recognised the role of the KRG in embracing hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis as well as Syrian refugees, despite its limited resources, noting that the UN and other international organisations had praised the KRG for its cooperation in trying to manage this major humanitarian crisis.

The resistance against ISIS in Kobane was discussed in detail with the US delegation pledging to continue to provide air strikes to assist the Kurds fighting ISIS terrorists.

Regarding relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the Prime Minister said that the Kurds will participate in the government in Baghdad and work towards resolving the issues between both sides, particularly the budget, salaries as well as other issues that have been pending for too long.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the delegation and conveyed the gratitude of the people and government of Kurdistan towards US President Barack Obama and the US government, saying that Kurdistan will not forget the friends who helped during this time of need.

The Prime Minister also pointed that the success of the political process in Iraq is the only way to eliminate the terrorist threat to the country. On this basis, the Kurdistan Region will participate in the Iraqi government and will do its best to help the country overcome this crisis and eliminate ISIS terrorists. He also asked the United States to support the dialogue between both sides so that the problems and obstacles can be overcome.

(Source: KRG)

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