In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani stressed the need for the International Coalition to maintain a presence in Iraq as terrorist threats continue to jeopardise peace and security gains in the region and that the KRG will continue to meaningfully engage in the ongoing strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States.
A major part of the discussion was dedicated to the security aspects in the Kurdistan Region and in the wider region. The Prime Minister stressed the fact that ISIS still consitutes a threat for Iraq and for the stability of the whole region. He added that strong cooperation between Peshemerga, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces is necessary in order to provide security to all citizens, especially in those areas there the Islamic State still has some sort of control.
The discussion then shifted to the relations of the Kurdistan Region with other entities. Concerning the Iraqi federal government, Prime Masrour Barzani assured his government’s readiness to fulfill its obligation in terms of budget and revenues, inasmuch as the federal governemnt will also respect its obligations with regard to salaries and budget sharing. Furthermore, the Prime Minister clarified that the Kurdistan Region is interested in maintaining frienldy relations with all neighbouring states, such as Iran and Turkey. With regard to this, he stressed the importance of security cooperation with Turkish military forces as well as calling on the immediate withdrawal of PKK forces from the border areas.
Prime Minister Barzani concluded by addressing the pandemic, in that he explained that the epidemiological situation of the Kurdistan Region is rather stable, although the arrival of vaccines is slow and in small quantities.
Here you can find the interview in Arabic.