U.S. delegation led by McGurk to visit Kurdistan Region – official

Brett McGurk speaks during news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq July 8, 2017. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A U.S. government’s delegation will pay a visit to the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday, a Kurdish official said.

The U.S. delegation led by White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk includes U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dana Stroul.

Head of Kurdistan Region’s Department of Foreign Relations Safeen Dizayee said the delegation would hold talks with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in Erbil

Esta Media Network has learned that the delegation would also hold talks with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-leader Bafel Talabani during its visit to the Region.

The U.S. delegation arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and President Barham Salih.

Kadhimi and the U.S. delegation discussed coordination and joint cooperation in varies fields, the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

“Emphasis was placed on activating the outcomes of the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States, especially with regard to the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq,” Kadhimi’s office added.

Iraq and the United States held the third round of their strategic dialogue last month, in which the U.S. agreed to remove remaining combat forces deployed to fight Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq.

The talks, which began in June under the Trump administration, was the first under U.S. President Joe Biden, who assumed office in January.

According to the Pentagon, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq has dropped to about 2,500 over the past months.

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