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News story: PM statement following meeting with Prime Minister al-Abadi of Iraq

Prime Minister, thank you for welcoming me to Baghdad today.

And let me pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the Iraqi security forces. They are on the front-line in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

And I am proud of the role the UK has played to support Iraq in this endeavour as part of the Global Coalition against Daesh.

That’s why I was so pleased to meet British troops at Taji earlier today.

We will continue to stand by Iraq as the last remnants of Daesh’s so-called Caliphate are liberated.

For as long as the Iraqis want and need it, the UK will continue to be a fully committed security partner.

We will support you to ‘win the peace’ – addressing the issues that led to Daesh’s rise, and building a stronger, more inclusive and unified Iraqi state.

We will continue to support the training of your security forces and invest a further £10 million over the next three years in strengthening Iraqi counter-terrorism capabilities.

And we will work with partners across the region to develop the capabilities that will enable us to deal with the threat posed by foreign fighters fleeing as Daesh is squeezed out of its physical caliphate.

The UK has already provided over £200 million since 2014 to support the humanitarian response in Iraq. And I am pleased to announce today that we will provide at least £20 million in new humanitarian assistance next year. This will support Iraqis who have suffered under Daesh and help to provide access to water, food, and healthcare.

And we will provide up to £30 million to support stabilisation, reconciliation and reform in Iraq. This will help to provide a safe environment for all Iraqis, as well as promoting longer-term peace and security.

We will continue to support your government as it seeks to deliver the reforms needed to rebuild public trust in a unified, independent and sovereign Iraqi state.

As I said in our meeting just now, we encourage the Iraqi government to respond positively to the new Kurdish leadership, and we encourage the Kurdish Regional Government to respect the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ruling on the unconstitutionality of their referendum.

And I welcome the discussion we have just had with reference to the discussions between the government and the Kurdish Regional Government.

We call on both sides to now move quickly to negotiations of outstanding differences on the basis of the constitution.

So Prime Minister; thank you for our talks today. I look forward to the relationship between our two great countries continuing to go from strength to strength.

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