Nechirvan Barzani, head of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), has called for stepped-up cooperation with the central government in Baghdad, especially in the counter-terrorism field, Anadolu Agency reported.
Barzani made the remarks on Thursday evening at a meeting with members of a U.S. congressional delegation.
Held in Erbil, the KRG’s administrative capital, the meeting was also attended by KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and Steven Fagin, the U.S. consul-general in Erbil.
According to a KRG statement, the meeting tackled political and security-related developments in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region; the ongoing training of the KRG’s peshmerga forces by a U.S.-led military coalition; and the need for enhanced security cooperation with Baghdad.
“The situation in Syria and relations with neighboring countries were also discussed,” the statement read.
Members of the U.S. delegation, for their part, commended the KRG for its contributions to the fight against the ISIS terrorist group and for providing shelter to large numbers of displaced persons.
In late 2017, Baghdad declared that ISIS's military presence in Iraq had been all but destroyed following a three-year war between the Iraqi army and the terrorist group.
The Iraqi army, however, continues to wage frequent operations against ISIS “sleeper cells” which allegedly remain active in certain parts of the country.