Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Iraq today to discuss key political, economic, humanitarian, and security issues with government officials, including our long-term partnership with Iraq under the Strategic Framework Agreement. The Deputy Secretary is accompanied by Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, and Joseph Pennington, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs.
In Baghdad, Deputy Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Abadi and other national and provincial Iraqi officials to discuss a range of issues, including our collective efforts to defeat Da’esh and planning for the Mosul offensive. He will also meet with senior U.S. military officials to discuss Coalition efforts and our ongoing support for all elements of the Iraqi Security Forces under the command and control of the Iraqi government.
Deputy Secretary Blinken will then visit the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) on September 15, where he will meet with IKR President Barzani and other senior regional government officials to continue discussions on our efforts to degrade and defeat Da’esh and support for the Peshmerga as well as our response to the urgent humanitarian and IDP crises in Iraq.
Be sure to follow the Deputy Secretary on Twitter and Instagram (@ABlinken) and on the State Department’s Flickr for more updates throughout his trip.