Erbil, Kurdistan Region, May 4, 2021
Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Marshal Martin, the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defense Staff’s Senior Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa; Mr. Stephen Hickey, the UK Ambassador to Iraq; Mr. James Thornton, the UK Consul General in Erbil and their accompanying delegation.
Discussions focused on the developments in the war against terrorism, the threats of ISIS resurgence and ways to confront its movements, and the mission of the International Coalition Against ISIS in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. The UK and the International Coalition’s assistance and support to the defense system in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and ways to strengthen their partnership and alliance were highlighted.
President Nechirvan Barzani expressed gratitude to the UK and the International Coalition for their support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in the war against ISIS, and reiterated Iraq and the Kurdistan Region’s continuing need for assistance from the Coalition to confront the ISIS threats. The President expressed appreciation for the UK’s military support to the Kurdistan Region including in the training of Peshmerga forces and UK’s role and support to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in the Ministry’s reform process.
The UK delegation commended the role and sacrifices of the Peshmerga in defeating ISIS and affirmed the importance of a solid mechanism for cooperation and coordination between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga with the support from the Coalition, especially in areas with existing security vacuum.