President Barzani and Secretary Mattis Meet in Erbil


KRP.org | |
22/08/2017
Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, (Krp.org)- President Masoud Barzani received a high level United States government delegation headed by James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary's delegation included ambassador Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as well as a number of military and diplomatic officials. On President Barzani's side, the meeting was attended by Vice President Kosrat Rasul Ali and a number of military and government officials.

During the meeting President Barzani and Secretary Mattis reviewed some of the developments in recent and ongoing operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State. The two sides spoke attentively about the Mosul operation. Secretary Mattis saluted the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces for the successful operation which ended in the complete liberation of the city. He then conveyed, on behalf of the United States military his condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were perished during that operation. Additionally Secretary Mattis commended President Barzani for his leadership and added that his wisdom plays a very important role insofar as the morale of the Peshmerga forces is concerned.

President Barzani began by expressing his gratitude, on behalf of the Peshmerga forces and the people and government of the Kurdistan Region to the people and government of the United States for their support. The President added that the support from the United States during the ongoing war against the terrorists of the Islamic State has indeed made this very challenging conflict more manageable. The President added that the courage of the Peshmerga forces has only grown stronger after the successful operations against the terrorists.

The President and Secretary Mattis then discussed the Kurdistan Independence Referendum of September 25 of this year. The President described the referendum as a solution and not as an obstacle, he then briefed Secretary Mattis on the old and modern issues that the people of Kurdistan have had with Baghdad and that no real partnership has ever been accepted by the latter. The President then reassured Secretary Mattis and the accompanying delegation that the referendum would not create any problems for the operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State and that the courage of the Peshmerga forces shall remain unwavering against this brutal common enemy which poses a threat to all of humankind and not only to Iraq and Kurdistan.

Secretary Mattis stated that he understands the grievances of the people of the Kurdistan Region and also added that such step is a natural right of any group of people. He also expressed some of the concerns of the United States government and how that announcement last June was not expected, especially due to the military operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State. The Secretary said that the government of the United States is concerned that the referendum may cause obstacles for the collective efforts against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

The meeting was ended with Secretary Mattis describing the meeting as an "honest discussion between two friends," and President Barzani stating that he hoped for all issues to be resolved through peaceful means and through dialogue.




SOURCE:: KRP PAGE HIT:: 3400