Pres­i­dent Barzani Meets US As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Brett McGurk

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani met with the US As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for Iraq, Brett McGurk, on Mon­day March 3, 2014 to dis­cuss se­cu­rity and po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Iraq, ten­sions be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad, and the sit­u­a­tion of Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan.

Mr. McGurk ex­tended the grat­i­tude of both US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den and Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry to Pres­i­dent Barzani and the KRG for their hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to the more than 200,000 thou­sand Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan.

He added that US Pres­i­dent Obama would be happy to wel­come Pres­i­dent Barzani when­ever the Pres­i­dent in­tends to visit the Unites States. The se­nior State Depart­ment of­fi­cial added that there are now con­certed ef­forts un­der­way for the US Congress to pass leg­is­la­tion to rem­edy the is­sue of visa for the people of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

They also dis­cussed re­la­tions be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad, in­clud­ing the up­com­ing Iraq par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. On the with­hold­ing of KRG em­ployee salaries by Bagh­dad, Mr McGurk said his coun­try has in­sisted that this prob­lem should be re­solved as soon as pos­si­ble and di­a­logue be sought by all sides.

For his part, Pres­i­dent Barzani re­it­er­ated that the up­com­ing Iraqi elec­tions must be held on time. He said the salary and budget is­sues with Bagh­dad had noth­ing to do with po­lit­i­cal dis­putes and that the Bagh­dad govern­ment is us­ing it as a pres­sure card against the Re­gion. He said Bagh­dad’s de­ci­sion was un­law­ful and a vi­o­la­tion of the rights of cit­i­zens of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. No one can usurp this right from our people, he added.

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