President Barzani Receives Secretary Fallon | |
Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a high-level United Kingdom delegation headed by Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon. The delegation included a number of military and diplomatic officials including ambassador Frank Baker, the ambassador of the United Kingdom to Iraq. On President Barzani's side, the attendees included Kosrat Rasul Ali, the Vice President of the Kurdistan Region and Karim Sinjari, the acting Minister of Peshmerga Affairs.

During the meeting, President Barzani and Secretary Fallon spoke of a number of issues including the Mosul operation and other ongoing military efforts against the terrorists of the Islamic State. The two sides also spoke of the Kurdistan Independence Referendum next Monday.

Secretary Fallon and President Barzani exchanged their updates on the ongoing operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State. President Barzani took advantage of the opportunity to express his appreciation, on behalf of the Peshmerga forces and the people of the Kurdistan Region to the people and government of the United Kingdom for their support during this war against some of the most brutal terrorists in modern history, the terrorists of the Islamic State.

The two sides also spoke of the Kurdistan Independence Referendum of next Monday, September 25. Secretary Fallon reiterated the stance of the United Kingdom, that the referendum should be postponed.

President Barzani briefly repeated the grievances of the Kurdistan Region and emphasized on the fact that the day the Kurdistan Region announced the date of the referendum last June was not a surprise and that the Kurdistan Region had repeatedly stated its grievances with Baghdad. President Barzani also made reference to several violations of the Iraqi constitution committed by the Baghdad government.

The President spoke of the experiences the Kurdistan Region has had with Baghdad and how all of them had failed, therefore, the President stated that if we cannot become good partners within Iraq, then let us be great neighbors. President Barzani stated the Kurdistan Region will happily negotiate with Baghdad after the referendum. He added that the proposed alternatives by the international community insist on having the negotiations before the referendum, yet they fail to guarantee Baghdad's willingness to begin the negotiations on independence.

President Barzani and Secretary Fallon concluded the meeting by hoping that all outstanding issues will be resolved through negotiations and other peaceful means.