Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken accompanied by a political and military delegation.
The US delegation included Ambassador Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, US ambassador to Baghdad Douglas Silliman, Erbil Consul General Ken Gross and a number of advisers and diplomats.
In the meeting also attended by KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and a number of KRG senior officials, Mr. Blinken praised the KRG for providing shelter, security, and services to a very large number of internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing the brutality of terrorism.
He stressed, however, that the battle to liberate Mosul could lead to the displacement of many more people to the Kurdistan Region, emphasising the need for continued international humanitarian assistance to displaced people. Mr. Blinken reaffirmed US commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to the Kurdistan Region.
The US delegation stressed the important role of Peshmerga forces in liberating Mosul in cooperation with Iraqi government and international coalition forces. In this regard, they highlighted the need for developing a plan for the post-liberation era of the city of Mosul.
They also expressed their government’s willingness to strengthen bilateral relations with the Kurdistan Region. Regarding the financial situation, they praised the campaign of economic reforms initiated by the KRG.
Prime Minister Barzani stressed that as an important part of the international coalition in the war against ISIS the Kurdistan Region will exert all efforts to eradicate this terrorist threat. He highlighted the recent cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad in this regard, stressing the need for cooperation in other fields, particularly in providing assistance in areas liberated from ISIS.
Prime Minister Barzani pointed out that due to the current difficult financial situation it would be extremely difficult to accommodate and assist additional displaced people. To face this challenge, he emphasised the urgent need for additional international assistance to both the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Prime Minister Barzani also discussed his recent visit to Baghdad and the outcome of his meetings with Iraqi federal government officials.
Regional political and security developments were also discussed in the meeting.