Kurdistan Region ‘a model’ for Middle East, top researcher says at MERI

Slim said that she has always had “high hopes” for the Region.
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Randa Slim, Director of the Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program at the Middle East Institute, speaks during MERI Forum 2022 in Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil, Nov. 1, 2022. (Photo: Screengrab/MERI)
Randa Slim, Director of the Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program at the Middle East Institute, speaks during MERI Forum 2022 in Kurdistan Region's capital Erbil, Nov. 1, 2022. (Photo: Screengrab/MERI)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Kurdistan Region is a model for the Middle East, as it upholds the values of tolerance, inclusivity, and better governance, a top researcher said during the 2022 Middle East Research Institute Forum in Erbil on Tuesday.

The remarks from Randa Slim, the Director of the Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program at the Middle East Institute, came during her participation in the second panel in response to a question asked by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman to the US about the role of the Kurdish in the Middle Eastern power dynamics.

“I am an old and big friend of Kurdistan,” Slim said, adding she has “always looked at it as a model for the region, where we can experiment with, you know, show the rest of the region tolerance, inclusivity, respect for human rights, better governance.”

Slim said that she has always had “high hopes” for the Region.

The researcher is set to moderate a panel, titled the KRG Looking Forward: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities, with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday afternoon, according to the agenda. 

Titled, Crystal-Gazing the Middle East: Power Dynamics & Power, the panelists underlined the recent political developments in the world and the region as well as their implications for Middle Eastern politics and inter-state relations.

Steve Bitner of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from the US Department of State and Professor Vali Nasr from Johns Hopkins University also took part in the panel, moderated by Iraqi Ambassador to Germany Lukman Faily.

“The Iraqi Kurdistan Region is a great partner of the United States,” Bitner said, adding that his government seeks a “multifaceted” relationship with the Kurdish region as well as more US companies and interconnections between Kurdish and American people.

Launched at the historic Erbil Citadel on Monday, the two-day forum is set to be attended by the top Kurdish and Iraqi officials. Members of academia and the diplomatic community have also taken part in the event.