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Immediate Release

Readout of Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker's Meeting With Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister H.E. Masrour Barzani

Department of Defense Spokesman Lt. Col. David Herndon provided the following readout:

Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Ms. Sasha Baker met with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and his senior delegation here at the Pentagon, Feb. 29.

Ms. Baker welcomed the Kurdistan Regional Government's immediate and public condemnation of the attack on U.S. forces in Jordan, which claimed the lives of three U.S. service members, and recognized the threats facing Iraqi Kurdistan from Iran and Iranian-backed militia groups. She also emphasized the United States' long-standing commitment to continued partnership with the people of Iraq, including the Kurdistan Regional Government, for a secure, and stable, Iraqi Kurdistan Region within sovereign Iraq.

The leaders discussed recent milestones in the continuing reforms of Peshmerga forces under the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs as outlined in the 2022 Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Defense and the Kurdistan Regional Government.  The leaders also highlighted the importance of intra-Kurdish unity as essential joint objectives with the United States.

Ms. Baker praised the Peshmerga's determined contributions to the enduring defeat of ISIS while urging the need to maintain pressure to fully eradicate ISIS.  Ms. Baker further expressed thanks for the Peshmerga's participation in the 2023 Joint Security Cooperation Dialogue in Washington as well as representation in current working level meetings for the U.S.-Iraq Higher Military Commission in Baghdad.