‘Kurdistan important for stability in Middle East’

Several US and Kurdish officials discussed economic development in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

WASHINGTON, United States (Kurdistan24) – Several US and Kurdish officials discussed economic development in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq during a forum held by the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, on June 2.

The focus of the forum, titled “Iraq Economy: Challenges and Opportunities,” was on the situation in Iraq from an economic perspective.

Lukman Faily, the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the United States, opened the discussions and highlighted the ongoing situation in the country involving the Islamic State (IS).

“There is always a development of a type in Iraq, whether it is security, political, some economic development, and certainly the situation is changing on the day,” Faily stated.

“Oil production and…the economical generation of revenue [has always been] a key focus and has been somewhat insulated from the political situations in a positive way,” he added.

Faily also discussed the “desire” of the country to get rid of the threat of terrorists and IS in particular.


Additionally, the relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad was discussed.

Mark Kimmitt, an advisor to US firms in the Middle East, said that Kurdistan and Iraq can work “harmoniously” to ensure that the economy of the region is successful.

“I for one am a strong believer of a unified Iraq but one that’s more on a federal system,” he stated.


On the topic of Kurdish independence, Joe Graziano, the Office of Inspector General at the US Department of Defense, agreed that the role of an independent Kurdistan is crucial for stability in the Middle East.

“If Kurdistan were to become an independent state, it would play an even more important role in stability in the region,” he concluded.



Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

(Kurdistan24 team in Washington conducted the interviews)