Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani Before Their Meeting

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  It is a great pleasure to have the prime minister here.  We saw each other a few weeks ago, but I’m so glad to have you here today in Washington at the State Department as well as the entire team. 

We have – the United States has a long partnership with the KRG, with the Kurdistan Regional Government.  And it’s a partnership that is cemented first and foremost in shared values, shared interests, and also a shared history of sacrifice together and something that we take very seriously, and something that for me personally over many, many years in working in this area and on these issues has meant – meant a great deal.  Our support for a resilient KRG is integral to our 360-degree approach to Iraq.  And so the opportunity today to reaffirm this support, reaffirm this partnership and the work that we’re doing together I think is important and timely. 

In many ways, this is a relationship for us that is unique in the region, and, again, one that we value greatly.  The KRG has also been a critical partner for stability in the region and the health of the private sector, including American investments, and that too is important.  So we’ve had many periods together where we’ve been side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder under the most challenging circumstances.  This period has its share of challenges as well.  But being able to face them together is very important. 

Finally, I would just say that also important to us, because I think it’s important to the success of our friends and partners, is unity among Kurds and making sure that everyone, because the interests are shared, is working together to the greatest extent possible.  I look forward to discussing that as well.

In any event, Prime Minister, welcome.  Very good to have you today.

PRIME MINISTER BARZANI:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Thank you for inviting me.  It’s great to be back here in Washington and especially here to see you.  Of course, we are great friends and partners, and we are very proud to say that we are American allies.  We have been through some very difficult times.  And we are very thankful and we express our gratitude for the support that the U.S. has always given to our people.  And now we are having some new challenges in the region.  I’m looking forward to our discussions to talk about the developments in the region in Iraq and especially about our bilateral relations with the United States. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you. 

PRIME MINISTER BARZANI:  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone. 

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-kurdistan-regional-government-prime-minister-masrour-barzani-before-their-meeting/

Politics - JISIP NEWS originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS

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