Remarks With Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi After Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Republican Palace
Baghdad, Iraq
September 10, 2014

PRIME MINISTER AL-ABADI: (Inaudible) Secretary Kerry (inaudible) very important (inaudible) and we have a new (inaudible). ISIL is a terrorist nation. It is mobilizing its international network to recruit people from all over the world. They have funds from all across the region. We are fighting these people. These people are (inaudible) our communities – minorities, women, children – they already (inaudible) women. They are a challenge to the whole region, to the international community.

They are coming to Iraq from across the border, from neighboring Syria. Of course, our role is to defend our country, but the international community is responsible to protect Iraq and protect Iraqis in the whole region. What’s happening in Syria is coming across to Iraq. We cannot cross that border. It’s an international border, but there is a role for the international community, for the United Nations to do that role, and (inaudible) the United States to act immediately to stop the spread of this cancer. This cancer is spreading in the whole region, and we have the resolution to fight the cancer in Iraq.

We Iraqis will have both an inclusive government now and we can do this job properly, everybody as a whole, but (inaudible) to include all people in the Iraqi society from all sections of this society in this government and in the mobilization process, but we need that bit of international support which is integral to eliminate ISIL.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you. Thank you very much, Prime Minister. First of all, let me congratulate you on the formation of the government and your assumption of the responsibilities of Prime Minister, and (inaudible) minister Jafari would be delighted and look forward to working very, very closely together.

Your comments today, and particularly your description to me in our private meeting, of the steps that you are prepared to take not only with respect to ISIL, which is critical, and your own military’s commitment to reconstituting itself and to being prepared to take the fight to ISIL, but also your commitment to the broad reforms that are necessary in Iraq to bring every segment of Iraqi society to the table. Your willingness to move forward rapidly on the oil agreements necessary to the Kurds, on the representation of Sunni in government and participation – this is really important from the international community’s point of view, and certainly from the United States, which has been working so hard to achieve these things in the past years.

So we’re very encouraged by the comments you’ve made here today and by your commitment to do this, the boldness with which you moved to bring the government together quickly and meet the deadline, which has never happened before, is its own signal. So I’m grateful to you.

And as I told you, the President will lay out tonight a more detailed description of exactly what the United States is prepared to do together with many other countries in the broad coalition in order to take on this terrorist structure, which is unacceptable by any standard anywhere in the world.

So I look forward to working with you and I’m very grateful to you for the comments today and for the very constructive meeting that we had. Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER AL-ABADI: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir.