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Iraqi governors, Coalition leaders confer in Kirkuk

FOB WARRIOR, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 29, 2005) — Governors from the Iraqi provinces of Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Diyala and Saladin met Aug. 24 at the Iraqi Army’s K-1 military installation near Kirkuk to discuss issues affecting north-central Iraq.

Top coalition leaders from the region were also present at the event, including 42nd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto and 116th Brigade Combat Team Commander Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart, as well as the commanders of sister units in the 42nd division.

Governors Mustafa Abdulrahman of Kirkuk, Dana Ahmed Majid of Sulaymaniyah, Raad Rashid Mullah Jowad of Diyala and Deputy Governor Abdulla Hasan Jobara of Saladin represented their provinces at the meeting. The conference included morning and afternoon sessions followed by an afternoon press conference. At least 13 regional media outlets attended the press conference, where questions focused on Article 58 of Iraq’s transitional administrative law, elections and security.

All of the governors agreed on the need for action on Article 58 to find a solution for displaced Iraqis, were vocal in encouraging citizens to participate in the elections and discussed plans for the establishment of a coordinated emergency information hotline between all four provinces.

Security for the conference was provided by the Iraqi Army’s 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, the unit headquartered at the facility.

Supporting the democratic process and open public communication by Iraqi elected leaders is part of the 116th BCT’s mission while deployed in north central Iraq. The unit’s mission also includes assisting Iraq’s new government, supporting economic development, facilitating communications and improving security and stability in the region.

The 116th BCT includes a headquarters and staff sections, two armor battalions, a mechanized infantry battalion, a support battalion, a field artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, and various intelligence, signal, and specialized units. With component units from the states of Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, New Jersey and Maryland, the 116th BCT is one of several Army National Guard units deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III.

(Editor's note: Information provide by the 116th BCT.)

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