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US Vice President Biden meets President Barzani in Erbil
FRI, 18 SEP 2009 18:04
Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – United States Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Erbil yesterday and met President Masoud Barzani, on his first visit to the Kurdistan Region since taking office.
Vice President Biden also met outgoing Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister designate Barham Salih and other senior KRG officials.
Mr Biden and President Barzani discussed bilateral relations between the US and Iraq in general, and the US and the Kurdistan Region in particular.
Vice President Biden said at a press conference after the meeting, “The United States understands that the Kurdish people, like so many other Iraqis, suffered terribly - suffered terribly under the rule and the regime of Saddam Hussein. And the United States and the rest of the world will never forget that. The transformation and the economic development of this region since 2003 - indeed, since the 1990s - has been a truly remarkable transformation and a success story.”
The discussions focused on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s relations with Baghdad, the unresolved status of Kirkuk and Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution. The pending hydrocarbons law, the governance system in Iraq and the commitment to the Constitution were also discussed. Both sides emphasised the importance of the outcome of Iraqi elections in January.
President Barzani said, “We reiterate our commitment to the constitution of Iraq and to solving outstanding problems through dialogue and peaceful negotiations with Baghdad.”
President Barzani expressed thanks on behalf of the people of Kurdistan to the men and women of the US for liberating the people of Iraq from dictatorship. Mr Biden said on a personal note that he is mindful of the suffering of the Kurdish people and is an admirer of the courage that President Barzani showed in his leadership during Saddam’s era and today.
Senior KRG and US officials attended the meeting. This was the second visit by Vice President Biden following a visit in December 2002. He also met Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Erbil.
of Vice President Biden's visit.
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