Chancellor Barzani receives US Senator Marco Rubio

Chancellor Barzani receives US Senator Marco Rubio

Former U.S Presidential Candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio to Chancellor Masrour Barzani: ‘Your help in the war on Islamic State is instrumental’

Today Chancellor Barzani received Senator Marco Rubio to discuss the ongoing war on the Islamic State (ISIL), preparations for the Mosul operation and measures to increase U.S.-Kurdistan cooperation. In the meeting, Senator Rubio underlined the ‘instrumental’ role the Kurdistan Region plays in the war on ISIL and global terrorism more generally.

On Mosul, both officials discussed local political and social dynamics and difficulties in securing a comprehensive agreement about post-ISIL management of the city. Chancellor Barzani added that for the attack, ‘Pushing for an offensive before the Iraqi army is ready will be catastrophic.’

”We expect Peshmerga to be as equipped as the Iraqi army for the operation,’ he said. He also called for more financial and military aid from U.S.-led Global Coalition.

On Erbil-Baghdad political disagreements, the meeting touched on historical, sectarian tensions between Iraqi communities. Chancellor Barzani said, ‘There is a mentality in Baghdad that does not accept partnership. Iraq is falling apart; we have done what we can to hold the country together.’

The meeting also touched on the recent ISIL attack in Tel Asqof where a U.S. serviceman was martyred whilst serving alongside Peshmerga forces in one of the biggest attacks since the outbreak of the war. Chancellor Barzani said, ‘We have shed blood together. We appreciate the historic relationship between our nations, and we hope this friendship will continue’

The U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Mr. Matthias Mitman, also attended the meeting.