Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken’s Travel to Iraq

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken’s Travel to Iraq

Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken visited Baghdad, Dohuk, and Erbil from October 13-16 to meet with senior Iraqi officials and U.S. Embassy and Consulate staff to discuss the latest political and security developments in Iraq and the region.  In his meetings, Mr. Blinken emphasized the United States' continued support for the Iraqi government and security services in safeguarding a unified and federal Iraq while combating our common enemy, ISIL. 
 
The Deputy National Security Advisor’s meetings in Baghdad included discussions with President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jabouri, Foreign Minister Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayyad, Minister of Oil Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq leader Ammar al-Hakim, as well as with other political, security, and economic officials.  In Dohuk, Mr. Blinken met with the Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, while in Erbil he met with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.  He also received a briefing from UN officials on the humanitarian situation in Iraq, including assistance to displaced people and refugees.
 
Mr. Blinken’s comprehensive discussions in Iraq covered the full range of issues at stake in our cooperation with the Iraqi government and people in the fight against ISIL.  He expressed appreciation for the Government of Iraq’s progress in forming an inclusive government and in resolving political differences so that the strongest possible force is brought to bear against ISIL.