US Energy Secretary highlights ‘precious opportunity’ to invest, rebuild economy in Iraq, Kurdistan
With security and stability on the rise in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, there is “precious opportunity” for investment and rebuilding the region’s economy, an American official said on Tuesday.
The United States Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, made the comments in Erbil upon his arrival in the regional capital during a joint press conference with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani.
Perry had earlier sat with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad before meeting with Barzani, noting in the press conference that he had productive meetings and is looking forward to a permanent agreement between Baghdad and Erbil.
Addressing reporters in Erbil, the US official highlighted the “courage and sacrifice of Kurdish warriors” in the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS), adding that the meeting would not be possible without their efforts.
The Kurdish Peshmerga forces “helped win an important victory,” Perry stated, “because of them, people are free. With freedom comes security and more opportunity.”
“Today, we’re seeing increased stability and security across this entire region that gives us precious opportunity to think about building, to invest, to be partners,” he added.
The US Secretary of Energy did not reveal the details of the meeting but said his discussion with Iraqi and Kurdish officials “centered on developing and understanding.”
“The time has arrived for us to focus on building the economy and infrastructure,” he affirmed.
Perry is also expected to meet with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and discuss matters related to energy. Source