Post liberation Mosul will bring Erbil and Baghdad closer say leaders

KRG President Masoud Barzani and Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi meet in Erbil, 7 March 2017

Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani met with Iraq President Haider al-Abadi in Erbil on Monday to discuss the latest stages of the Mosul operation and cooperation between peshmerga and Iraqi forces.

In a statement by the Kurdistan Regional Presidency office it said Barzani reiterated the “enormous significance of being ready for post-liberation Mosul and that a plan of reconciliation and rebuilding was of equal importance to the military operation.”

The statement also said that both leaders hope the operation to capture the city, which has been in the hands of the Islamic State (IS) group since 2014, “should certainly bring Baghdad and Erbil closer to one another.”

According to a statement issued by Abadi’s office the need for a united political voice across all parties in Iraq in the face of challenges confronting the country was also emphasised.

Discussions on closer cooperation will come as a surprise to many following louder calls by KRG officials for secession from Baghdad recently. The central Iraqi government has rejected the demand.

Abadi also visited Sulaimani where he met with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leader Jalal Talabani and has participated in the city’s trade forum.