Readout of Deputy Secretary Blinken's Meeting With Iraqi Parliament Speaker al-Jibouri
Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jibouri today to discuss a range of issues, including the United States’ strong and continued support to Iraq under our Strategic Framework Agreement, the collective campaign to degrade and defeat ISIL, and the status of ongoing political initiatives to address the needs of the Iraqi people and to foster cooperation and reconciliation across all communities.
The Deputy Secretary discussed today’s announcement by the White House to deploy additional U.S. military personnel to advise Iraqi forces, including local tribal fighters, to improve their ability to plan, lead, and conduct operations against ISIL in Eastern Anbar. He noted that this action was in support of the five point plan put forward by the Iraqi Council of Ministers on May 19th, which includes accelerating the training and equipping of Sunni volunteers and other steps toward assisting Anbaris retake their province from ISIL.
The Deputy Secretary thanked the Speaker for his leadership in the Council of Representatives in moving important legislation forward, such as the federal budget passed in February and the National Guard bill, which has now completed its second reading and awaits final discussion and vote by the Iraqi Parliament when it returns to session in July.
The Deputy Secretary lauded the partnership between the Speaker and Prime Minister Abadi and encouraged the speaker to continue to work constructively across the Iraqi government to advance national reconciliation and other efforts to forge a durable security for Iraq. Deputy Secretary Blinken underscored the United States’ steadfast support for the people of Iraq and their government in the fight against ISIL and underscored our commitment to help Iraqis reclaim their territory from ISIL.
Deputy Secretary Blinken and Speaker Jibouri also discussed the deepening humanitarian crisis in Iraq, where 3 million people have been displaced since January 2014. They noted the urgent need for additional support from the international community to address the humanitarian needs outlined in the UN’s $500 million humanitarian appeal released in Brussels on 4 June. He emphasized the United States’ more than decade-long support for displaced Iraqis, and noted the recent U.S. contribution of $200 million to support the humanitarian needs confronting the Iraqi people.