KRG hails US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue
WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Representation in the United States issued a statement on Saturday, describing the KRG’s role in the fourth round of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, which was held on Thursday and Friday in Washington DC.
The Strategic Dialogue began in 2020, under the leadership of Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Describing the most recent, fourth round of discussions as “pivotal,” the statement said that the KRG had participated as part of the Iraqi delegation.
Fawzi Hariri, Chief of Staff to the President of the Kurdistan Region, led the KRG delegation, and Joey Hood, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, tweeted his welcome with a picture of him showing Hariri a vista of Washington.
Happy to welcome our Iraqi Kurdish friends to D.C. and show them the views of our capital. President Barzani and the people of the Kurdistan region are essential partners in the fight against ISIS and we appreciated their input at today’s U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue. pic.twitter.com/YesWDzXDsa— U.S. State Dept - Near Eastern Affairs (@StateDept_NEA) July 24, 2021
“President Barzani and the people of the Kurdistan region are essential partners in the fight against ISIS,” Hood affirmed, adding, “We appreciated their input at today’s US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue.”
Hariri also participated in Friday’s meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
The military dimension of the Strategic Dialogue was addressed on Thursday, at the Pentagon. Brig. Gen. Hajar Ismail represented the KRG in those talks, in which the US and Iraq “reaffirmed the importance” of their “bilateral security relationship” and “their shared commitment to the D-ISIS [Defeat-ISIS] mission,” according to a statement released by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
During the meeting at the Pentagon, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin briefly “joined the delegation; reiterated his commitment to the Defeat-ISIS mission; and reaffirmed his steadfast support for the US-Iraq strategic partnership,” Kirby explained.
The other meetings were held on Friday at the State Department. In addition to Hariri, the KRG delegation included Minister Amanj Raheem, KRG Cabinet Secretary; Lawk Ahmed, Chief of Staff to the Vice-President; and the KRG Representative in Washington, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman.
Those discussions covered a wide range of topics, including political and human rights issues, the upcoming Iraqi elections, trade and investment, health, energy, climate, and higher education.
“Working groups” established in the context of the Strategic Dialogue “will continue to meet and implement the various steps that were discussed,” the KRG statement said.
The KRG delegation seemed to be satisfied with the results of the discussions.
“This final round of the Strategic Dialogue is pivotal to the future of Iraq,” Hariri said. “By working together, we can prevent terror from raising its head again.”