John Bolton congratulates Nechirvan Barzani on KRG presidency

White House National Security Adviser, Amb. John Bolton, offered his congratulations to Nechirvan Barzani on his election as the new president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) - White House National Security Adviser, Amb. John Bolton, offered his congratulations to Nechirvan Barzani on his election as the new president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“Congratulations to the new President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” Bolton tweeted on Thursday, describing it as “a significant milestone for the Kurdistan Regional Government, a steadfast U.S. ally in the Middle East.”

Barzani responded with his own message of appreciation, tweeting, “I look forward to widening and strengthening our strategic partnership with the United States and addressing issues of mutual interest.”

Bolton thus joins other world leaders in warmly welcoming the KRG’s new president, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as officials from France, China, Japan, and South Korea, and the UN and the European Union.

The US State Department offered its congratulations through its Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, earlier this week.

Read More: US State Department welcomes Nechirvan Barzani as KRG President, says Iran must stop support for terrorism

Bolton is known as an outspoken and independent thinker. As a private citizen, before becoming National Security Adviser, he expressed strong sympathy for Kurdish political aspirations.

In September 2017, shortly before the Kurdistan independence referendum, Bolton told Kurdistan 24, “I think it’s time for the Kurdish people in Iraq to give a voice to their aspirations.”

“If the government in Kurdistan decided to implement a referendum result that called for independence,” Bolton said, “I would support recognizing a de jure independent Kurdish government”—that is, an independent Kurdish government, legally acknowledged as such.

Read More: Amb. John Bolton: US should respect Kurdistan referendum and its results

Following the Iranian-orchestrated attack in October of that year, Bolton told a US radio talk show host that “Iraqi government forces and Shia militias dominated by Iran” were involved in the assault.

“I wish we could get through to the White House and say, ‘You should support Kurdish independence,’” Bolton said then, “because Iran – our enemy in the region – is now attacking Kurds, our best friend. We are doing nothing. It’s a tragedy.”

Editing by Nadia Riva