Remarks With Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
NATO Headquarters
Brussels, Belgium
December 3, 2014

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, were you notified of the Iranian airstrikes in Iraq?

SECRETARY KERRY: We’re not really having Q&A right now, but we’ll have a chance a little later.


MODERATOR: Thanks, everyone.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Let just say very quickly how significant the efforts of the prime minister have been in the last days particularly, and the oil agreement which they have reached is something that has been sought for years now. And in a matter of months, the prime minister has spearheaded and moved forward. It’s a terrific sign of a change in Iraq and a sign of strong leadership, and we’re very excited by the news.

PRIME MINISTER AL-ABADI: Well, thank you very much. I think that beside that, of course, we are achieving a lot of progress on the ground in fighting of Daesh. We have moved to the north and we are very much closing reaching (inaudible) which is in the north. I hope developments on the ground will succeed very, very quickly.

I know there are a lot of challenges, but yesterday I have signed another decree about human rights and abuse against prisoners which will not – we have zero tolerance with this in Iraq. We are working very hard on this. We don’t want any excuses. Of course, Daesh is number one in atrocities and they’re committing huge atrocities against the Iraqi people. We expect some probably backlash on this, but we are very eager to stop all abuses from all sides.


MODERATOR: Great. Thanks, everyone.