World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Masoud Barzani, president of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), have agreed on a military plan to retake the Daesh-held city of Mosul.
"Discussions held with President Barzani today [Thursday] tackled the upcoming campaign to retake Mosul and how to overcome common security and economic challenges," al-Abadi said at a joint press conference in Baghdad with the KRG leader.
"The federal government [of Iraq] supports the political, security and economic stability of the Kurdistan region," the prime minister asserted.
"But there are some issues that have not been resolved since [the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in] 2003," he added.
"We discussed those issues today with a view to shouldering our responsibility to provide all Iraqis with a decent life, including residents of the [Kurdish] region," he said.
"We have reached the final stages of planning the liberation of Mosul," al-Abadi went on. "Coordination is ongoing between army commanders in Baghdad, military leaders in Kurdistan and the international coalition."
Barzani, for his part, stressed: "Our priority is to defeat terrorism and cleanse Iraq of the Daesh terrorist group."
"We have held talks with Prime Minister al-Abadi and have agreed on many issues," he said. "There has been positive coordination between the federal government [in Baghdad] and the KRG regarding the Mosul campaign."
Barzani added: "Our relations with Baghdad -- now and in future -- must be based on mutual understanding."
The KRG president arrived in Baghdad on Thursday in his first visit to the Iraqi capital in three years.
In mid-2014, Daesh captured Mosul -- Iraq’s second largest city -- along with vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army -- backed by a 60-nation coalition led by the U.S. -- retake much territory. Nevertheless, Daesh remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
Iraqi troops and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have recently captured a number of areas on the outskirts of Mosul, which Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture by year’s end.