WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (KUNA) -- The White House announced late on Wednesday
that Deputy National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, traveled to Iraq and
Afghanistan to reaffirm US commitment to both those countries.
White House national security spokesperson Tommy Vietor said in a statement
that McDonough was in Baghdad on October 15 where he "underscored the US
commitment to Iraq's success through the structure of the bilateral Strategic
Framework Agreement. He reviewed our cooperation on security issues, and
discussed how the US and Iraq could further improve their partnership,
including on counterterrorism".
"In meetings with President Talabani, Prime Minister Maliki, and with
Parliament Speaker Nujayfi and others, Mr. McDonough stressed the President's
support for Iraq's independent democratic institutions, and urged inclusive
dialogue toward national reconciliation", he added.
Vietor noted that McDonough "reiterated our view that that any
investigation into Iraq's Central Bank must be transparent, in accordance with
Iraqi law and free from political influence to avoid undermining the
independence of the institution or investor confidence in Iraq".
"In all of his meetings with Iraq's leaders, Mr. McDonough discussed Syria,
with a particular focus on ensuring that violence from Syria does not degrade
Iraq's domestic security. During his visit to Baghdad, Mr. McDonough spoke
with Roman Catholic Archbishop Jean Sleiman and expressed the President's
continuing support for the rights and security of all of Iraq's minority
groups", he added.
On October 16 and 17 McDonough travelled to Afghanistan where he met with U.
S. civilian and military leaders, as well as coalition and Afghan partners, in
Kabul, and in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan.
"In these meetings, he discussed the current state of transition to Afghan
lead and our progress towards meeting the objectives agreed to at the NATO
Summit in Chicago earlier this year", said Vietor.
In Kabul, McDonough met with General Allen and other senior ISAF officials
to discuss "the military campaign, the transition process, and the status of
building and strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to assume
responsibility as U.S. and coalition forces continue to draw down".
McDonough also met with Ambassador Cunningham and Embassy staff to discuss
Afghanistan's political transition, including "reconciliation, the upcoming
2014 elections, and implementation of our mutual commitments under the
Strategic Partnership Agreement".
"McDonough completed his visit by meeting with military personnel in
Regional Command-East and Regional Command-South, to hear their perspective on
the challenges they face as we move forward, including the recent troubling
trend of insider attacks and the mitigation steps being taken against them",
concluded Vietor. (end)
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