US Vice President Joe Biden and the head of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani agreed during a telephone conversation to strengthen cooperation between all political forces of Iraq, the White House said Thursday.
“Both the Vice President and President Barzani noted the renewed cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad and agreed to work together, alongside other Iraqi leaders, to sustain and deepen collaboration among Iraq’s different communities,” the White House statement said.
Sunni volunteers from Mosul take part in military training as they prepare to fight against militants of the Islamic State on the outskirts of Dohuk province December 8, 2014. Picture taken December 8, 2014.
The document also states that the parties discussed the passage of a new law, that “should help to ease the process for many Iraqi Kurds, who wish to visit the United States.”
Biden “commended the courage of the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces fighting against ISIL, and President Barzani thanked the United States and the international community for their support,” the White House also said.
Since September 2014, Islamic State militants, that seized vast areas in Syria and Iraq and announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control, have been fighting Kurdish forces in Iraq and in Kobani, one of the largest towns in the Syrian Kurdish region bordering Turkey.
Kurdish self-defense forces have been defending the town with the help of the US-led international coalition, that is currently conducting airstrikes against IS targets in Syria and Iraq.