From left, Kurdistan Presidency Chief of Staff Fuad Hussein and Kurdistan Region Security Chancellor Masrour Barzani meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Photo: Masrour Barzani/Twitter
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The head of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council and the president’s chief of staff met with the Iraqi prime minister in Baghdad on Sunday to discuss ongoing security coordination.
In their meeting, they discussed how the trust and harmony between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga led to quick defeat of ISIS “and this cooperation will be the start of a more understanding relationship between the central government and the Region in the future,” read a statement from the prime minister’s office.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi received Chancellor Masrour Barzani and Chief of Staff to the Kurdish presidency Fuad Hussein in Baghdad on Sunday.
They discussed “the anti-ISIL campaign and cooperation between Peshmerga and the Iraqi army,” Barzani tweeted following the meeting.
They also discussed relations between Erbil and Baghdad in general. “[W]e reiterated need for an honest dialogue to address broader differences through peaceful means and a mechanism that respects the aspirations of Iraq’s communities and guarantees a prosperous future underpinned by trust and stability for all groups,” Barzani stated on Twitter.
Their visit comes shortly after Barzani and Hussein met with high-level Washington officials on a trip to the United States.
Peshmerga and Iraqi army cooperation in Mosul offensive to defeat ISIS in northern Iraq has been widely hailed as an important step in building relations between them. Describing it as the first time the Iraqi and Kurdish forces have shed blood together, Barzani said last October, “We hope it’s a good start to create a bright future for both sides.”
The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region intends to hold a referendum on independence this year. Kurdish leaders have said they hope to resolve problems with Baghdad through peaceful discussion.