PM Barzani meets with US Middle East envoy on sidelines of Manama conference
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) –Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met on Saturday with Brett McGurk, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, on the sidelines of the annual security conference held in the Bahraini capital.
The two officials, according to a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) statement, discussed the latest developments in the autonomous region and in Iraq following national parliamentary elections held last month, as well as several other issues related to their two governments.
Barzani announced his participation in the conference on Friday as he was en route to the three-day security conference where he is scheduled to meet with a wide variety of top European, regional, and American officials.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which has organized the security conference since 2004, describes the annual event as “a unique forum for government ministers, as well as members of the expert, opinion-forming and business communities, to debate the Middle East’s most pressing security challenges.”
Shortly before speaking to McGurk, Barzani had a one-on-one meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to speak primarily about security issues.
“The US Secretary of Defense noted with great respect and appreciation the influential role and important position of President Masoud Barzani in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” according to a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) statement.
It continued by explaining that General Austin, who formerly commanded US forces in Iraq, described the Kurdistan Region during the discussion as “an important ally and partner of the United States in the region” and “renewed America's commitment” to Peshmerga forces in the continued fight against ISIS in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.