Barzani: KRG ready for cooperation with Iraqi government in disputed areas
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Wednesday expressed his government’s readiness to cooperate with the Iraqi government in the disputed areas outside of the KRG’s administration.
Prime Minister Barzani and other Kurdish officials met with Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, the newly appointed Commander of the US-led Coalition ground forces, and an accompanying delegation in Erbil.
The Coalition delegation expressed their gratitude to the Peshmerga for their collaboration with the anti-Islamic State (IS) Coalition, adding the people of the Kurdistan Region and the international community should be proud of the Kurdish forces’ victories against IS, a statement by the KRG said.
The US military delegation also voiced their readiness to strengthen the support and partnership between the US and the Kurdistan Region as well as improve Erbil-Baghdad relations, the statement read.
Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Coalition, and the US for supporting the Kurdistan Region in confronting IS which in turn allowed the Peshmerga forces to protect all components in the Region.
He expressed the KRG’s readiness to cooperate and collaborate, especially in areas where the threat of terror is on the rise again, reiterating the continuation of a strong mechanism between Erbil and Baghdad with the support of the Coalition.
During his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi commented on the possibility of coordinating with the KRG in the areas outside of the Kurdish government’s administration.
Abadi also revealed that security cells would be created under the leadership of the federal government’s Counter Terrorism Forces with the participation of security forces from the Kurdistan Region to fill the security vacuum.
Following the Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias attacks on Peshmerga forces in October 2017, Kurdish officials repeatedly warned that IS militants were re-grouping in Kirkuk and other disputed territories, including Nineveh Province.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany