Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding his meeting with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“Chairman Royce and I welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to the Capitol where we had a productive conversation about U.S.-Iraq relations and other pressing issues in the region. I expressed my support for Iraq in its fight against al-Qaeda, and urged the Prime Minister to reduce sectarian tensions by taking steps to address the grievances of Iraq’s Sunni population. I encouraged the Prime Minister to support the Geneva II process and for Iraq to play a constructive role in helping to end the violence in Syria. In addition, I pressed the Prime Minister on the importance of inspecting Syria-bound Iranian aircraft that transit Iraqi airspace, and cautioned him that the Congress will be closely watching to see if Iraq lives up to its commitments to stem the flow of Iranian weapons to Syria.”