Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met on May 30 with Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, commander of Coalition’s Special Operations Forces to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
President Barzani and Hill discussed the key developments with the global COVID-19 outbreak and efforts to counter the recent increase of ISIS activities in Iraq and the disputed territories, the presidency said, adding that the meeting was also attended by Vice President Jaafar Mustafa.
The economic consequences of the pandemic and its effect on public health were also discussed. The two sides also spoke about the impact of the outbreak on the global coalition’s military plans and movements.
On the upcoming strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq and the future of its bilateral relations which is set to start in June, Barzani “reiterated the importance of Kurdistan Region’s presence and participation in the dialogue and in the formation of any road maps.”
The two sides also discussed the increasing dangers of ISIS movements and assaults in Iraq and Syria.
Barzani stressed the need and importance of the international coalition’s continued support for Iraq and the KRG in the war against terror. He also underlined that Iraq needs to take the necessary political steps to restore trust, security and stability among all communities in the country.
Barzani “reiterated the importance of cooperative arrangements between the government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in confronting ISIS, particularly in the disputed territories.”
The president pledged full cooperation with Baghdad and said that the movements of terror groups and their attacks greatly endanger the security of Iraq and the KRG.
Prime Minister Barzani and Hill, meanwhile, spoke about the latest developments in Iraq as well as “the need to strengthen coordination between the Peshmerga and Coalition Forces.” They stressed the importance of continued coordination in order to eliminate the ISIS threat.
During the meeting, Barzani expressed his concern about the latest ISIS activities in Kurdistani areas outside the Kurdistan Region particularly attacks on and abductions of Kurdish farmers.
Hill pointed out that the KRG is an important partner of the United States and Coalition Forces in the fight against terrorism. He agreed that the war on terror has not finished yet, underscoring the need to further strengthen coordination with the KRG and Iraq in combating terrorism.