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Prime Minister Barzani at the Munich Security Conference 2020

Prime Minister Barzani at the Munich Security Conference 2020

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani participated in the 2020 Munich Security conference from 14-16 February. He held a series of bilateral discussions with counterparts and senior ministers from around the world, including: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette; US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper; Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu; Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harit Singh Sajjan; French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Federal Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The Prime Minster also met high-level leaders from neighbouring States and the Federal Government of Iraq, including: Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif; Iraqi Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari; Kuwait’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah; Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Arab League’s Secretary General; Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs; Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Hakim and National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh.

Throughout the two days of meetings, a commonly discussed priority was the ongoing support provided by the United States and other allies in maintaining the Global Coalition’s fight against ISIS. Prime Minister Barzani underlined the historic and ongoing sacrifices the Peshmerga have made in the fight against ISIS. He thanked foreign leaders and politicians for their support in the battle against terrorist forces, while continuing to stress that no-one should assume the fight is over, as a serious threat of resurgence remains in Iraq and Syria. The Prime Minister stressed indeed that the recent changes to ISIS’ leadership have not reduced the threat posed by the terrorists. Following his meeting with the Prime Minister, Secretary Esper commented: “I reaffirmed the US commitment to our defence relationship and recognized the KRG as a reliable, capable partner in our effort to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS.”

Prime Minister Barzani also took the opportunity to update leading international foreign and security policymakers on the ambitious reform programme that the Kurdistan Regional Government is undertaking. To defeat terrorism in the long-term, regional states must implement social and economic changes. The KRG is leading the way with a range of reforms, to be a model for Iraq and the whole region in terms of economic opportunity, social reform, stability and security. During their meeting, Secretary Brouillette praised the Prime Minister’s leadership, describing economic progress in the Kurdistan Region as “a miracle”. Prime Minister Barzani also underlined the many economic opportunities for investment available in the Kurdistan Region, and welcomed further cooperation on energy issues, as well as further international financial and technical assistance for the KRG’s reform programme. The Prime Minister seized the occasion to call for stronger trade links with Kurdistan and greater assistance in looking after internally displaced peoples. He highlighted Kurdistan’s desire to develop stronger international trading relations while also mentioning the growing investment opportunities for regional and overseas businesses within the Kurdistan Region.

Read about the Prime Minister’s single meetings with Secretaries and Ministers: