President Nechirvan Barzani meets with US Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, March 7, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani received United States Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin and his accompanying delegation in Erbil today.

In a meeting attended by the Vice Presidents of the Kurdistan Region and senior officials of the Peshmerga Ministry, US relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the security situation in the country and the latest developments in the fight against terrorism, Erbil-Baghdad issues, and the internal situation in the Kurdistan Region were discussed.

General Austin praised the role of the Peshmerga in defeating ISIS, reaffirmed the US support for Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and pointed out that the US attaches great importance to the process of reform and reorganization of the Peshmerga. The Secretary of Defense pledged all necessary support to the unification process of the Peshmarga according to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Peshmarga and the Pentagon.

Both sides agreed that terrorism and ISIS remain a real threat in Iraq and Syria, and Iraq and the Kurdistan Region still need the support of the United States and the international coalition to fight the terror networks. They also agreed on the importance of working together in the region to maintain regional peace and stability.

President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s appreciation for all US assistance and support to the Kurdistan Region, and commended the contribution and role of the US military teams in the process of reorganizing the Peshmerga. The President stressed that despite the obstacles, the reform process will be carried out.

The US Secretary of Defense expressed his country’s support for the dialogue to resolve the issues between Erbil and Baghdad and encouraged the political parties in the Kurdistan Region to come together and resolve their issues.

The two sides also discussed the latest developments in the region and other issues of common interest.

After the meeting, President Nechirvan Barzani and the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gave a press conference about the contents of their meeting.

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