Monday, March 07, 2016

Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Visits Iraq

haider and brett

That's Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi above meeting with Barack Obama's Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk.  Below is the statement the US State Dept issued yesterday on Brett's trip to Iraq.

Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Visits Iraq

March 6, 2016
On March 2-4, Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk visited Iraq for meetings with senior Iraqi government and security officials, and United Nations representatives.  Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones, Mr. McGurk met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Speaker of Parliament Saleem al-Jibouri, the governors of Diyala, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa and Anbar provinces, along with other Iraqi leaders to discuss the International Coalition’s support for Iraq’s ongoing operations to defeat [the Islamic State]. He commended Iraqi forces for their courage, bravery, and recent successes in Anbar and Salah ad-Din provinces. Mr. McGurk underscored that the United States and the Coalition is prepared to increase support to the Iraqi governments we work together to accelerate [the Islamic State]'s defeat.

In all his meetings, including with UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq Jan Kubiš, Mr. McGurk stressed the United States’ commitment to supporting post-conflict stabilization in newly liberated areas, facilitating humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees, and promoting the safe, voluntary return of displaced persons to their homes. Meetings also addressed Iraq’s economic challenges, and ways the U.S. is prepared to help address them, under our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq. This includes deferring payment on $2.7 billion ‎in U.S. security equipment to ensure Iraqi forces are able to accelerate operations over the coming months.
Mr. McGurk also delivered remarks at a graduation ceremony for 900 federal and local Iraqi police who completed training courses conducted by the Government of Iraq and Italy's Carabinieri as part of the Coalition's train, advise and assist mission. Mr. McGurk thanked the Italians for their vital contributions to the anti-[Islamic State] campaign and commended the Iraqi police for their brave commitment to restoring the rule of law in areas liberated from [the Islamic State].

Mr. McGurk reaffirmed the United States’ condemnation of the recent [the Islamic State] attacks in Sadr City and Abu Ghraib, extending condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded in the attacks.