‘Americans have tremendous admiration for Kurdistan’

“Kurdistan Region has been are very effective.”

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region delegation headed by the Region’s Security Council Chancellor continues to meet more US officials to discuss further military and financial support for the Kurdistan Region.

On Wednesday, Masrour Barzani, the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council and the accompanied delegation were invited by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to discuss Mosul operation, independent Kurdistan, future of Erbil-Baghdad Relations, US-Kurdistan ties and regional security and political developments.


Chancellor Barzani explained the sacrifices Kurds have made in the post-2003 Iraq for shared values with the American people, including the war on international terrorism and reaffirmed Kurdistan's commitment in the fight agianst the Islamic State (IS).

Talking about the challenges in clearing IS from Mosul and future challenges that may emerge, Chancellor Barzani said, "Unless the root causes are addressed, it will be only a matter of time before another group similar to IS reemerges."

The meeting attended by Bob Corker, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Vice Chairman Ben Cardin, as well as other members such as Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, former presidential candidates.

Chancellor Barzani also spoke about the humanitarian burden in the Kurdistan Region and called on the senators to press for additional financial support.

Chancellor Barzani called for more military aid to Peshmerga forces, stating that "We expected the international community to provide more advanced equipment."

The speaker also discussed at length the historical atrocities against the Kurds since the creation of Iraq and explored mechanisms to secure the Kurds' future. Chancellor Barzani said, "We have tried every method to make Iraq work. We cannot continue to be held hostage to the rest of Iraq.”

"If we cannot live together in peace we can live alongside each other as strategic neighbors,” he added.

Most of the members Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have visited Kurdistan in the past. The members said they are exploring other ways to assist Kurdistan in its fight against international terrorism and to provide additional financing.

Senator Corker, who is a candidate for the US Secretary of State, thanked the Kurdistan Region for the great friendship to the United States and stated that "the American people have a tremendous amount of admiration for what's happening in that part of Iraq."

Ranking member Cardin said "Support here in Congress for your cause is strong, and part of that is due to the leadership in Kurdistan" assuring the Kurdistan Region delegation of their commitment to remaining a partner to the Region.

In another meeting, Chancellor Barzani and accompanied delegation met with the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich thanked the Kurdistan Region for being one of the most reliable allies in the region, saying that “Kurdistan Region has been very effective.”

In the meeting, Chancellor Barzani said that "Our priority continues to be fighting IS."

Both officials discussed measures to strengthen US-Kurdistan relations and receive ongoing support from the next administration.

[Kurdistan Region delegation met with the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich]


The Kurdistan Region delegation also met with Congressional Kurdish Caucus, Congressman Jared Polis. The caucus currently has bipartisan support from nearly 50 members of Congress.

[The Kurdistan Region delegation meeting with the Congressional Kurdish Caucus]


Polis said that he is confident that the next administration will continue to support the Kurds, adding that "Everyone deeply appreciates the role of the Kurds in the war on terror and the security they provide to the region.”

Speaking to staffers from leading congressional members, the Kurdistan Region delegation spoke alongside Kenneth Pollack, a renowned expert on Kurdish affairs, and Henri Barkey, Director of Middle East Programs at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

The meeting was attended by tens of staffers from leading congressional members focused on Kurds and Kurdish affairs in the Middle East to an update on regional political and security developments and prospects for the future of KRG ties with Baghdad, neighboring countries and the US.

The delegates underlined the continued evolution of terrorism in Iraq. They also cited Kurds' attempts in the post-2003 political discourse to keep Iraq united and to work closely with Baghdad.

The forum also touched on previous legislation to provide aid to the Kurdistan Region, and efforts to expand existing financial support to the Kurds, including the Memorandum of Understanding, signed earlier this year with the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.

[Meeting between the Kurdistan Region delegation and the Washington Post Editorial Board]

Speaking to the Washington Post Editorial Board, the Kurdistan Region delegation talked about the progress in the campaign to dislodge IS extremists from Nineveh province, political developments in the Kurdistan Region and post-ISIL governance needs in Iraq.

Chancellor Barzani, accompanied by the Chief of Staff to the President of the Kurdistan Region Fuad Hussein have been in Washington on an official visit, meeting with US officials from the current administration and the administration of the President-elect Donald Trump.


Editing by Ava Homa