U.S. Ambassador Stuart E. Jones Leads U.S. Delegation to Erbil for Meetings with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and Other Officials

On September 15, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones led a high-level delegation from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense to meet with Kurdistan Regional Government officials, including separate meetings with President Massoud Barzani, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, and Deputy Prime Minister Qbad Talabani. The U.S. delegation included Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk, Special Envoy for Syria Michael Ratney, Consul General Matthias Mitman, Lieutenant General James Terry, and Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland.

President Barzani and Ambassador Jones had a productive discussion on the security and economic challenges facing Iraq, the situation of Iraqi internally displaced persons and refugees, and the important role of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against Da’esh. Ambassador Jones reiterated the United States’ strong support for the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Ambassador Jones welcomed and thanked President Barzani for the establishment of the new Joint Coalition Coordination Center in Erbil, which brings together elements of the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga to begin planning and coordination for the campaign to expel Da’esh from Mosul. The Ambassador also praised President Barzani’s continued leadership in the fight to defeat and expel Da’esh. Ambassador Jones also pledged technical assistance to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s economic ministries.