Kurdistan Region president discusses ISIS, COVID-19 with US, UK envoys
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met in separately in Erbil on Tuesday with both US and UK diplomats to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to discuss various pressing issues of the day including a recent resurgence of the so-called Islamic State, COVID-19, and remaining vacant ministries of the new federal prime minister cabinet in Baghdad, according to a statement by Barzani's office.
In his meeting with the US ambassador to Iraq, Mathew Tueller, “President Nechirvan Barzani reiterates the Kurdistan Region’s support for [Iraqi] Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s cabinet,” adding that he hoped that the final ministers would soon be approved, “since it is necessary to tackle security, economic, and health challenges Iraq is currently grappling with.”
Earlier in the day, Tueller assured Kurdish Prime Minister Masoud Barzani that the Kurdistan Region will be involved in the “strategic dialogue” between the US and Iraq, scheduled to be held later this month in Washington DC.
In a meeting in Erbil, Tueller informed Barzani that "the Kurdistan Region will participate in, and will be part of it,” a statement posted to the website of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) explained.
Read More: US announces strategic dialogue with Iraq
Such participation has been a request from the KRG to the US, and in his meeting with Tueller, Barzani stressed its importance, emphasizing that the results of the strategic dialogue must ensure the rights of all the components in Iraq and serve their “best interests.”
Also on Tuesday, President Nechirvan Barzani convened with UK Consul General to Erbil James Thornton to discuss the latest COVID-19 developments and the disease's drastic economic fallout, according to another statement.
Barzani “underlined that it is in the best interest of the country to resolve pending disagreements between the governments of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in accordance with the constitution.”
The two also spoke of “the need for cooperation and coordination between the governments of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region” to counter Islamic State attacks.
For his part, Thornton, “reiterated the UK’s willingness to preserve and expand bilateral relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region,” noted the statement, explaining that the envoy hoped that UK companies “find work and investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region.”
Editing by John J. Catherine