U.S. Kurd region officials discuss incoming Iraq gov’t


U.S. diplomats and military officers on Wednesday met with officials of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to discuss ongoing efforts to form a new federal government in Baghdad.

The meeting was attended by Brett McGurk, U.S. special envoy for the fight against the Daesh terrorist group, who met with Masrour Barzani, head of the KRG’s Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman and Consul-General in Erbil Steven Fagin also took part in Wednesday’s meeting.

Held in Erbil, the KRG’s administrative capital, the meeting tackled ongoing efforts to form the next government in Baghdad “and the KRG’s role in this regard”, according to a statement issued by Barzani’s office.

During the meeting, Barzani also stressed the importance of “long-term military and security cooperation” between the KRG and Washington.

On Saturday, Iraq’s recently-elected parliament endorsed Sunni politician Mohamed al-Halbusi for the post of assembly speaker.

According to Iraq’s constitution, the assembly now has 30 days to elect — by a two-thirds majority — the country’s next president.

The president will then task the majority bloc in parliament with drawing up a new government, which must be referred back to the assembly for final approval.

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