US Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk meets with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani. Photo: KRG DFR
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdish President Masoud Barzani met face-to-face with US special envoy Brett McGurk on Monday in Erbil, where Barzani emphasized post-ISIS planning in a meeting between US and Kurdistan Region officials.
According to a statement from the Kurdish presidency, "Barzani reiterated his position of the significance of planning for post-liberation Mosul" to McGurk, the US special presidential envoy to the international coalition against ISIS.
The Kurdistan Region has taken in 1.8 million internally displaced Iraqis and refugees because of the conflict including 167,000 since the Mosul offensive began in October 2016, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government statistics.
More than 1,700 Peshmerga fighters have died since 2014, when the ISIS extremist group was driven back kilometers away from the Kurdish capital. Additionally, 10,000 Peshmerga have been injured in the fight.
"[McGurk] conveyed his message of condolence to the families and loved ones of the Peshmerga forces who were perished during this global war against the terrorists of the Islamic State," read the statement.
"Mr. McGurk made reference to the role of the Peshmerga forces in the global effort to eliminate the terrorists of the Islamic State and added that their role has been of major importance," the statement detailed.
The Kurdish officials included Karim Sinjari, the Interior Minister and acting Peshmerga Minister, and Falah Mustafa, head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations.
McGurk was accompanied by the Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and the Consul General in Erbil Ken Gross.
After the meeting in Erbil, the US delegation visited infrastructure improvements in As-Salamiyah near Mosul with Lise Grande, deputy special representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Last week the water treatment plant near Nimrud re-opened. It is the first major stabilization project to be completed since Baghdad approved 202 projects in early April.
"We are working as quickly to possible to re-establish water and sewage systems and electrical grids," Grande said. "Thousands of people, many from destitute families, are working on public schemes, earning income while help to rebuild their communities."