Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s visit to the United States: Enhancing and Strengthening the Partnerships Between the Kurdistan Region and the U.S.


Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's visit to the United States represents a significant milestone in the advancement of partnerships between the Kurdistan Region and the U.S. Engaging in a series of high level discussions with the U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Following his meeting with Prime Minister Barzani, Secretary Blinken conveyed a crucial message, stating, "The U.S. remains supportive of a resilient Iraqi Kurdistan Region as a cornerstone of our 360-degree relationship with Iraq”. This message reinforces America's unwavering support for the stability and prosperity of the Kurdistan Region and underscores the deep-rooted historical ties. 

The United States has maintained a strong relationship with the Kurdistan Region, dating back to the aftermath of the First Gulf War in the 1990s. The imposition of a no-fly zone by the U.S. and coalition partners provided protection to the Kurdish people in Iraq, enabling the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 1992. Since then, the U.S. has been a key ally of the KRG in its efforts towards political stability, economic development and in providing security and military support. 

However, challenges persist in Iraq due to the Iraqi federal government's failure to comply with the constitution, ratified by all Iraqis in 2005. The federal government's disregard for the principles and provisions outlined in the constitution has led to political tensions, disputes, and governance challenges, particularly concerning issues over oil and gas revenue-sharing, budget allocations, and the governance of disputed territories. Disputes over oil and gas resources between Baghdad and Erbil have intensified due to the federal government's neglect of constitutional mandates on revenue sharing. Budgetary issues have also been a contentious point, with the federal government failing to meet its obligations under the constitution by allocating KRG’s share of the budget. The cutting and uncertainty surrounding budget allocations has affected and contributed to economic challenges and financial uncertainties in the Kurdistan region. Also, the non-compliance with Article 140 on the status of disputed territories has sustained instability and insecurity in areas of Kirkuk, Sinjar, and the Nineveh Plains. The recent decision by the Iraqi High Supreme Court's to remove minority seats, which includes representation for Christians and Turkmen, in the Kurdistan parliament has further exacerbated tensions between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region.  

Prime Minister Barzani's visit to the United States demonstrates a commitment to address these challenges and forge a path toward greater cooperation and stability in Iraq. By engaging with US officials and reaffirming the importance of upholding constitutional rights, Kurdistan Region aims for a more inclusive, democratic, and prosperous future for all Iraqis. 

The ties between the U.S. and the Kurdistan Region continue to serve as a foundation for building a strong partnership that addresses pressing issues of constitutional compliance and political governance in Iraq.  Prime Minister Barzani has played a crucial role in addressing the challenges facing the Kurdistan Region through dialogue and commitment to upholding the principles of the constitution. His efforts to resolve disputes with the federal government have been characterized by a spirit of goodwill and dedication to find peaceful and constitutional solutions to all issues.  

Prime Minister Barzani has also focused on strengthening the Kurdistan Region's democratic institutions and upholding the rule of law. The KRG’s 9th cabinet has implemented key reforms to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance, laying the foundations for a more inclusive and equitable society, and to build a stronger and more resilient Kurdistan Region that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. Prime Minister Barzani has played a significant role in advancing the Kurdistan Region's foreign policy strategy, engaging with the world leaders to promote peace, stability, and cooperation. His recent participation in the World Government Summit (WGS) conference in Dubai highlighted the Kurdistan Region's commitment to foster international partnerships and engage in constructive dialogue on global challenges. By participating in key international forums, conferences and engaging with world leaders, Prime Minister Barzani has demonstrated the Kurdistan Region's willingness to contribute to regional and global efforts towards peace and prosperity.  

Prime Minister Barzani's leadership and his commitment to dialogue, adherence to constitutional principles, and focus on democratic governance reflect a visionary and pragmatic approach to governance, has been instrumental in driving the Kurdistan region towards sustained stability, prosperity, and growth, and under his leadership the Kurdistan region is positioned to play a significant and influential role in shaping a more peaceful and prosperous future for Kurdistan, and the continued support and partnership between the U.S. and the Kurdistan Region serve as a critical foundation for advancing common goals, fostering stability in Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the wider region.