The Kurdistan Region: Strategic US ally in a tough neighborhood

The Washington Times, in partnership with Kurdistan 24, is hosting a conference in Washington DC on Friday to explore and discuss the most important issues related to the upcoming referendum on Kurdish independence.
author_image Sangar Ali

WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan 24) - The Washington Times, in partnership with Kurdistan 24, is hosting a conference in Washington DC on Friday to explore and discuss the most important issues related to the upcoming referendum on Kurdish independence.

“The Kurdistan Region: Strategic US Ally in a Tough Neighborhood” is the overall theme of the event. As Kurdistan 24’s General Manager, Noreldin Waisy, explained it, the conference will shed light on crucial aspects of the campaign for Kurdish independence, including why the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) chose to hold the referendum now and what it might mean for the US.

This will be the first major conference in the US capital on Kurdish independence.

The following is the symposium's program:

Kurdistan Region: Strategic U.S. Ally in a Tough Neighborhood

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2045, July 28, 2017

9:30-10:00 a.m         Registration

                                    Continental breakfast available

10:00-10:05              Opening Remarks:

                                    Noreldin Waisy, General Manager, Kurdistan 24

10:05-11:15 a.m.      Kurdistan's Security Issues: the Fight Against ISIS, Strategic Ally and the Post-ISIS Environment

Moderator:  Michael Pregent, Adjunct Fellow, Hudson Institute

- Joe Wilson, U.S. House of Representatives, South Carolina (2001- present)

- Ronald Griffith, U.S. Army (Ret.)

- Gen. Jay Garner, U.S. Army (Ret.)                                                

- Gen. Ernie Audino, U.S. Army (Ret.)

11:15-12:30 p.m.     Future of Kurdistan, Referendum and Why Independence?

Moderator:  Dr. Laurie Mylroie, Washington Correspondent for Kurdistan 24

- Najmaldin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk

- Trent Franks, U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona (2003 -present)

- Peter Galbraith, J.D., Author, former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia
- Brendan O'Leary, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
- Sheikh Shamo Naamo, Member of Kurdistan Parliament

12:30-1:15 p.m.        Special Remarks and Dialogue:

H.E. Masrour Barzani, Chancellor of Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC)

1:15-1:30 p.m           Lunch Served        

1:30-2:45 p.m.          Economic Opportunities and Development

Moderator: Dr. Sasha Toperich, Professor, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

- Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Representative in U.S., Kurdistan Regional Government.

- Steve Lutes, Senior Director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

- David Tafuri, Partner at Dentons Law; President, USKBC

- Douglas Layton, Author and Consultant

2:45-3:55 p.m.          Safe Haven for Religious and Ethnic Minorities

Moderator: Mr. Stephen Mansfield, Author

- Vian Dakhil, Member of Parliament, Iraq

- Jawdat Najar, President, Turkmen Cultural Association

- Father Douglas Yousif Shamshoon al-Bazi, Addai Chaldean Catholic Church

- Naomi Kikoler, Esq. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

- Jeremy Barker, Operations Director, Religious Freedom Institute

3:55-4:00 p.m.          Concluding Remarks and Next Steps

4:00-4:45 p.m.          Reception
Kurdistan 24 will broadcast the conference live and provide extensive coverage on our websites as well. Those in the US can attend the conference by registering for the event here