By Idris Okuducu
ISTANBUL (AA) - The presence of the U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq is important to prevent the threat of terrorism in the country, the head of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said Tuesday.
Nechirvan Barzani's remarks came after a meeting with U.S. Congressman John Garamendi in Erbil, according to the president’s office.
Barzani and the visiting delegation, along with Garamendi, emphasized the importance of the U.S. and the international coalition troops, and said the troops should remain in Iraq against the risk of re-emergence of terror, the statement said.
Handling the post-Daesh process, sending the internally displaced people back to their homelands and U.S.-Iraq cooperation in the reconstruction of damaged areas during the conflict were also discussed.
The U.S. military presence has been a hot issue in Iraq. Some parties want the U.S. removed from the country and even 55 Iraqi lawmakers tabled a motion to the parliament for a decision.
The U.S. occupied Iraq in 2003 with 165,000 troops until December 2011, after which then-U.S. President Barack Obama ordered all troops withdrawn from Iraq.
However, after the emergence of the Daesh terrorist organization in 2014, Washington sent its troops back to Iraq in line with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's demand.
*Writing by Sibel Morrow