Kurdistan Regional Government
Representation in the United States
Washington D.C.
Welcome to our August 2020 Newsletter 
The highlight of this month was the visit to Washington by Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi and the meeting of Iraqi and American officials in the US-Iraq strategic dialogue. The Prime Minister’s delegation included Fawzi Hariri, the Chief-of-Staff to the Kurdistan Region President.

The successful visit of Prime Minister Kadhimi and his delegation included a meeting with President Donald Trump and other high officials and the signing of several MOUs and commercial agreements. Furthermore, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced $204 million in humanitarian aid, and the United States will donate funds to the United Nations Mission in Iraq to further its assistance with the Iraqi elections. 

The signaling of stronger ties between Iraq and the United States was underscored in the strategic dialogue meeting. The KRG was included in the Iraqi delegation and our officials took part in the discussions on economic, energy, political, security, cultural, and humanitarian fields. This is the first time the KRG has participated in talks that have emanated from the US Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement of 2008. We look forward to continuing to play a positive role in the talks and revitalizing the relationship.

Some weeks before this month’s visit, I was asked by the Dallas Morning News to write a column on what the Kurdistan Region seeks from its relationship with the United States. I argued that we have much
to thank the United States for, but we also have high expectations of our partner. I urged America to stay the course as we continue to fight ISIS and to encourage adherence to the Iraqi constitution so that Erbil and Baghdad can reach a lasting settlement. You can read the full column, which was published on August 15, below.

Another positive development this month was the decision by the federal government of Iraq to temporarily resume budget transfers to the KRG after they were suspended in March. In his opening remarks at the strategic dialogue session and later at a press conference, Secretary Pompeo urged Erbil and Baghdad to reach a budget deal. The resumption of budget transfers is welcome, and we hope that a longer-term, sustainable agreement can be reached.

On a more somber note, the month of August marks the anniversary of the genocide by ISIS against the Yazidis, Christians, and others in Iraq. The KRG Representation in the United States co-hosted a panel discussion in remembrance of the genocide and to debate ways to help victims to carve out a better future. We are grateful to our co-host, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, and to the speakers who included Minister Safeen Dizayee, the KRG’s Head of Foreign Relations, Karim Khan of UNITAD, Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Erbil Chaldean Diocese, and Murad Ismael of the Yazidi nongovernmental organization Yazda.

Finally, I would like to highlight the crisis facing the Kurdistan Region due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fall in oil prices. Together, these have undermined Kurdistan’s economy and our healthcare system as families across Kurdistan face financial hardship, and an increasing number are seeing loved ones fall ill or die from COVID-19. We are grateful to the United States and other friendly nations for their support at this challenging time and urge them to continue to provide assistance.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
Representative to the United States
Kurdistan Regional Government
Kurdistan Region officials conclude U.S. visit after participating in US-Iraq dialogue

A delegation from the Kurdistan Region today concludes its week-long visit to Washington DC as part of the Iraq delegation that participated...

KRG Representative emphasizes Kurdistan's progress at online discussion on Treaty of Sèvres

Representative Bayan Sami Sami Abdul Rahman spoke in a virtual discussion about the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Sèvres...

Representative meets new USAID chief advisor on religious freedom

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman spoke with Samah Norquist, the newly appointed Chief Advisor for International Religious Freedom to the Administrator of USAID...

KRG-US Representative held virtual meeting with Congresswoman Haaland

The Kurdistan Regional Government's Representative to the United States spoke by phone with Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico)...

Kurdistan officials take part in events marking the anniversary of the Yazidi genocide

Officials from the Kurdistan Region are this week participating in virtual events to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the genocide against the Yazidis by ISIS.

Commemorating the Yazidi Genocide

In the summer of 2014, ISIS terrorists tore across Iraq, committing genocide, kidnapping, raping, and destroying churches, shrines, and cultural heritage sites.

Minister Safeen Dizayee discusses ways to help Yazidis, Christians and other communities to recover and improve their lives, during webcast discussion

The high-level webcast discussion Co-hosted by Wilson Center’s Middle East Program and the KRG’s Representation in the United States.

Opinion - Kurdish representative: As the Middle East faces myriad challenges, we look to U.S. leadership

The people of Kurdistan want a true partnership with the U.S., based on mutual respect and strategic interests. The Kurdistan region will always be grateful to the U.S. for the assistance it has...

President Barzani receives French Minister of Armed Forces

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received the French Republic's Minister of the Armed Forces Ms. Florence Parly and her accompanying delegation in Erbil on Thursday. The latest developments in...

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President Barzani's message on the Badinan Anfal

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani issued a statement on the 32nd anniversary of the 1988 Anfal genocidal campaigns against civilians in Badinan areas of the Kurdistan Region, where thousands of...

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President Barzani's message on the Yazidi Genocide

It is with great sadness that we mark the sixth anniversary of the genocide committed against the Yezidis and the tragedy of Shingal (Sinjar). We honor and remember our Yezidi sisters and brothers who fell...

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President Barzani's message on the Barzani Genocide

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani issued a statement on the 37th anniversary of the 1983 Anfal genocidal campaigns against the Barzanis in which more than 8000 people were systematically killed by ...

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PM Masrour Barzani chairs meeting on Peshmerga Reforms

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today chaired a meeting on the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Prime Minister called...

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PM Masrour Barzani's message on the Badinan Anfal

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in a statement on Tuesday commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the former Baath party's Anfal campaign against the Kurdish nation in Badinan area that...

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KRG Cabinet meets on economic challenges

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a cabinet meeting today via videoconference to discuss the current financial situation and public sector salaries. In the meeting attended by...

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Council of Ministers convenes on financial situation

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a cabinet meeting via videoconference to discuss current financial situation and dialogue with Baghdad on outstanding problems. In...

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Deputy Prime Minister chairs Dokan Tourism Project

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Sunday chaired a meeting on Dokan Resort Project's high-level committee. During the meeting, they spoke about the legal and executive procedures ...

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Deputy PM Qubad Talabani updates foreign missions

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Monday briefed diplomatic missions in Erbil via videoconference on the recent progress with Baghdad. During the meeting, the Deputy Prime...

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KRG's August 2020 Humanitarian Bulletin

This August marked the sixth anniversary of the Yazidi and Christian Genocide. In August 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked the Yazidi homeland of Shingal (Sinjar) and the predominately Christian Nineveh Plains, committing genocide against...

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Listen to the latest episode of our podcast "Kurdistan in America"

This episode features an interview with Dr. Shahla Gli, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute. Dr. Shahla obtained her masters and Ph.D. in International Affairs at Tufts University. The discussion is about the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, Erbil-Baghdad relations, and the fate of Sinjar and Nineveh Plains.
Kurdistan in the Media
A Conversation with Iraq’s Foreign and Migration Ministers

The United States and Iraq will hold the second round of their strategic dialogue this week to discuss bilateral relations as part of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s first visit to Washington since assuming office in May.
The Barzani Christians who stuck by their tribe – and paid the ultimate price

Watch the remarkable story of Georges Yohenna, a survivor of the Barzani Anfal, the Ba'ath regimes ethnic cleansing campaign of the Barzani tribe.
An interview with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller 

Ambassador Tueller shares his insight on the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue to Kurdistan24 TV.
Joint Statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue

The Government of Iraq, led by Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, and the Government of United States, led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo...

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo And Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein At a Press Availability

We had a good set of discussions, very productive, building on the virtual U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue that we began back in June of this year.

With U.S. Backing, Iraq Pushes for Energy Rapprochement With Saudis

The Trump administration is urging Iraq to proceed with a project to connect its power grid with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, among steps to reduce...

US backs Iraqi progress on budget deal with Kurdistan Region

The Trump administration says it supports Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's progress so far in working out a budget agreement with the Kurdistan.

Ignoring Iraq’s Most Vulnerable Displaced Families Undermines US Stabilization Agenda in Iraq

U.S. troop numbers and economic reforms will no doubt receive the most attention in the U.S.-Iraq “strategic dialogue” set to continue this month.

Kurdistan Region supplies Iraqi government with electricity: regional minister

Since late July, the Kurdistan Region has supplied the Iraqi government with 500 megawatts of electricity without burdening the region’s power supply...

Turkey strikes PKK targets in Iraqi Kurdistan Slemani province

It is less common for Turkey to bomb the Kurdish armed group there. More of the Turkey-PKK conflict in Iraq takes place in Dahuk near the Turkish border.

US to reduce troop level in Iraq to 3,500 from 5,200

The reduction in forces had been anticipated, with U.S. military officials highlighting the Iraqi military's growing ability to carry out independent...

KRG delegation in Baghdad for Iraq 2021 budget draft preparation talks

A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) delegation is in Baghdad for discussions on Monday with Iraqi government officials on what a draft for the 2021...

Iraqi lawmakers allege anti-Kurdish discrimination in Kirkuk

A member of the Iraqi parliament on Thursday claimed that Kurds in Kirkuk hold a disproportionately low number of positions in the ethnically diverse...

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For inquiries, please contact Delovan Barwari, the Director of Public and Humanitarian Affairs, at: delovan.barwari@us.gov.krd