Iraqi PM says coordination between Iraqi, Kurdish forces helped defeat IS militants

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BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Thursday said that the high-level coordination between the Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish regional forces, known as Peshmerga, helped to achieve victory over the terrorist Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Al-Kadhimi’s comments came during his visit to Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, which aimed at discussing the most prominent challenges in the country, and the unification of positions at the national level, as well as the issue of holding early elections, according to a statement by the prime minister’s media office.

Al-Kadhimi was received by the regional President Masrour Barzaniin Erbil in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s northern region of Kurdistan, and met with top officials of the region, including Masoud Barzani, head of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the statement said.

During the meeting, al-Kadhimi highlighted “the high-level coordination between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga brought victory over IS militants, asserting that such coordination will protect the land and secure the opportunity for prosperity and development for the country,” it said.

The two sides discussed Iraq’s urgent need to reform and agreed that there is a need to give priority for the national action to address the current challenges, the statement added.

“The prime minister explained the importance of integration in the positions between the federal government and the regional government, and emphasized that the Kurdistan region is an integral and essential part of Iraq,” the statement said.

For his part, Massoud Barzani affirmed that all the parties have intentions to exert efforts in the reform and resolve the outstanding issues between the federal government and the regional government, according to the statement.

Al-Kadhimi’s visit is the first to the country’s semi-autonomous region since he took office in May. His visit is expected to tackle the main outstanding issues between Baghdad and the region such as the differences over the oil, the region’s share in the annual budget, and the control of the country’s crossing borders in the northern region. Enditem

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