Kurdistan Regional Government
Representation in the United States Washington D.C.

Welcome to our August 2022 Newsletter 

As we come to the end of August, one can only reflect on how turbulent this month has been in Iraq. The month has been dominated by surprise moves by Iraqi political leaders and continued paralysis in the political process following the elections of October last year, which resulted in violent clashes this past week.


Protests in Baghdad by the supporters of rival Shia political parties resulted in the tragic death of 30 people. Fortunately, the we have seen calm return to the international zone in Baghdad in the past day or so. We express our condolences to the families of those killed in the clashes and hope that by stepping back from the brink, a dialogue can begin.


Calls for dialogue


President Nechirvan Barzani issued a statement on August 29 calling on all parties to exert maximum restraint and not to allow the situation to escalate beyond control. He called for a national dialogue and invited all Iraqi forces and parties to meet in Erbil. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, in a statement on Twitter, said he was deeply troubled by the new cycle of violence in Iraq and said it is time for a full and frank dialogue about the deep, serious issues facing the country. 


These calls for calm and dialogue by Kurdish leaders have been echoed in capitals around the world, including Washington DC. The UN has also urged calm and a time for talks. 


KRG condemns threats regarding oil


This month has also seen Iraqi state institutions continue to try to put pressure on the Kurdistan Regional Government and the companies it has signed oil and gas contracts with. The latest move was by SOMO, the Iraqi oil marketing company, which issued a threat to traders of crude oil produced in Kurdistan. 

The KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources condemned the letter by SOMO as ‘nothing more than another drip in a stream of disinformation’. It went on to say that oil produced in the Kurdistan Region continues to be produced, shipped and sold, while investment interest remains and production is expected to increase. 

These steps by Iraqi institutions are partly designed to derail the talks between the KRG and the federal government, which Prime Minister Barzani and Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi have agreed to.


Congress urges engagement with KRG


We are grateful that this urgent and important matter has garnered the attention of members of the US Congress who have urged the US government to support Erbil and to engage the KRG and federal government in order to ensure that the remarkable success of Kurdistan’s oil and gas market is not crushed for political reasons. Several members of the House of Representatives and Senators Bob Menendez and James Risch, leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in separate letters to the Administration, urged immediate engagement to safeguard the economic stability of the Kurdistan Region and its contribution to the world energy market.


High level visit to Washington


We were honored to welcome an inter-agency delegation to Washington earlier this month, led by Shoresh Ismail, Minister of Peshmerga Affairs. 


The delegation met with Dana Stroul, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Defense, White House Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Gavito, and Senators Marsha Blackburn and Jacky Rosen. 

Minister Ismail thanked the United States for its support to Kurdistan in the dark days of the fight against ISIS and for the support it has continued to provide to the Peshmerga forces. 


New York Kurdish Cultural Center


Turning to a celebration of Kurdish culture and cinema, our Kurdistan in America podcast this month features an interview with Xeyal Qertel, President of the New York Kurdish Cultural Center. The center will be hosting its annual Kurdish film festival in October and offers Kurdish language classes. 


You can read about these topics in our newsletter below.


Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman

Representative to the United States

Kurdistan Regional Government

Peshmerga delegation discusses ISIS threat and reform program with U.S. officials


 A Kurdistan Region peshmerga and security delegation led by Minister Shoresh Ismail concluded a week of meetings with American officials that focused on...


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KRG hosts reception in honor of Kurdistan's peshmerga forces and partnership with America


The heroism and valor of the peshmerga and the enduring Kurdistan-US strategic partnership were celebrated at a reception on August 4, 2022, hosted by the KRG...


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Kurdistan Region peshmerga and security delegation arrives in Washington


 A Kurdistan Region peshmerga and security delegation led by Minister Shoresh Ismail has arrived in Washington DC. The delegation was welcomed to the...


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Peshmerga and Asayish officials take part in National Defense University training program


Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman welcomed a delegation of Peshmerga and Asayish officers to the KRG Mission in Washington on August 31, 2022.


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KRG Representation staff meets with State Department’s incoming refugee coordinator in Erbil


The KRG Representation team welcomed Kat Fallon, Iraq Program Officer, and Carrie Denver, the incoming Erbil Refugee Coordinator, from the U.S. Department...


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KRG Representation team discusses KRI-USA university partnerships with President of Duhok University


The KRG Representation team welcomed Dr. Dawood Sulaiman Atrushi, President of the University of Duhok, to the KRG Mission in Washington on...


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The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Ms. Xeyal Qertel as its guest in the eighth episode of Season Three.


Ms. Qertel is the President and Founder of the New York Kurdish Cultural Center. She founded the organization in 2017 to provide a safe space for diaspora Kurds in New York to reclaim and celebrate their cinema, poetry, literature, and music—and to introduce non-Kurds to Kurdish culture and art. She directs the annual New York Kurdish Film and Cultural Festival and is also an educator and human rights activist with a special interest in women's rights. 


The discussion is about her family's background, her experience migrating to the US, the upcoming Kurdish film festival in New York, which is scheduled for October, and the Kurdish language courses and the book club her organization offers.

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A statement from the President of the Kurdistan Region


We are closely following today’s political and security developments in Baghdad and several other parts of the country with deep concern. We call on all parties to exert maximum restraint and not allow the situation to escalate further beyond control.


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President Nechirvan Barzani receives incoming US Consul General


President Nechirvan Barzani welcomed the new Consul General to Kurdistan and congratulated him on assuming the office. The President wished Mr. Hicks success, and voiced full support for his mission in the country.


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President Nechirvan Barzani’s statement on the anniversary of the Badinan Anfal


Today we commemorate the 34th anniversary of the mass crime of Anfal campaigns in Badinan area, which was perpetrated by the then Iraqi army against the diverse communities of Badinan from August 25 to September 6, 1988. We pay...


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The meeting of Kurdistan Region Presidency with political parties and UN Representative


Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani chaired a meeting with the political parties of the Kurdistan Region today in Erbil, attended by Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The meeting exclusively discussed the upcoming elections in the Kurdistan Region.


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PM Masrour Barzani meets new US Consul General

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday met with Irvin Hicks Jr., the new US Consul General in Erbil. Prime Minister Barzani congratulated the new Consul General on assuming office and wished him the best of luck in his new role.

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Statement by PM Masrour Barzani on the anniversary of the Badinan Anfal

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Badinan Anfal: "During the Badinan Anfal, the last stage of the Ba'ath regime's infamous Anfal campaign against the Kurdish people, the regime used chemical weapons against the people of Badinan, killing thousands and leaving many more missing.

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PM Masrour Barzani inaugurates driving license digitization

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday launched the first digitized driving license system in the Kurdistan Region as part of the Ninth Cabinet's digitization process. Prime Minister Barzani renewed his own driving license using the new system and was briefed by traffic department authorities on the technicalities of the new system.

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Council of Ministers discusses drinking water provision

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday held its weekly meeting led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. Opening the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani addressed discussions regarding the Region's next elections, and stressed that the government believes that all legal deadlines should be respected and elections held on time.

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Council of Ministers discusses resolving issues with Baghdad

Council of Ministers on Wednesday held its weekly meeting led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. Opening the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani recounted his recent visit to Baghdad and the goal of his meetings with several Iraqi officials.

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Deputy PM Qubad Talabani meets with new US Consul General

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Wednesday met with the new US Consul General in Erbil, Irvin Hicks, to discuss ongoing reform process and opportunities for further collaboration between the Kurdistan Region and the US.

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Speaker Faiq congratulates Bafel Talabani on his election as Leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

Dear Bafel Jalal Talabani, President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Please accept my very best wishes on your election as leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). I wish you every success.

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Kurdistan Parliament hosts the Youth Own the Platform (YOP) annual forum

Kurdistan Parliament Deputy Speaker Dr. Hemin Hawrami on 28 August 2022 attended the Youth Own the Platform (YOP) annual forum on youth development, entrepreneurship and capacity building. Twenty young people from different cities and towns of Kurdistan Region participated in the seminar, which was held in the Parliament building.

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Deputy Speaker Hawrami: Political parties will have meeting on the Kurdistan Parliament election next week

Kurdistan Parliament Deputy Speaker Dr. Hemin Hawrami said at a press conference on 28 August 2022 that Parliament sittings will resume this Thursday 1st September, ending the summer recess, and that the current term of Parliament should be extended to avoid a legal vacuum.

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Biden must engage with Iraq and Kurds to end range of disputes, Congress says


Congress is urging the administration of US President Joe Biden to enhance engagement with Iraq and the Kurdistan...


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Risch, Menendez call for Heightened U.S. Engagement In Iraqi-Kurdish Region


U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today are urging...


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Kurdistan Region President stresses 'coexistence, forgiveness' on Simele massacre anniversary


On Assyrian Martyrs Day, the Kurdistan Region remembers the victims of the Simele massacre perpetrated by the Iraqi regime in 1933, President Barzani wrote. 


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PM Barzani congratulates PUK Bafel Talabani on his election as party's president


Barzani wished the new PUK president success in his endeavor for the sake of developing cooperation between all sides to support the Kurdistan...


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US calls for KRG oil contracts with IOCs to be respected



The US diplomatic mission in Erbil said Wednesday that existing contracts between international oil companies (IOCs) and the Kurdistan...


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Members of Congress call on Biden administration to support Erbil in energy disputes with Baghdad


Three members of the House of Representatives sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken a letter calling on the Biden administration to support the...


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Kurdistan — a territory between Iraq and hard places


Az Zubayr, a town of around 250,000 people, sits just south of the Iraqi city of Basra. At the time of the invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power...


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American Man Makes Living as Carpenter in Iraqi Kurdistan


An American man from the state of Georgia has been living in a remote part of the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq working as a carpenter...


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Water Crisis in Iraq’s Kurdish Region Strains Food Security


Standing outside his home in Chaqlawa village, a half-hour drive from the city of Sulaymaniyah, Latif Karim Ismael, wearing black baggy trousers...


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Kurdistan Region pursues gun control after deadly shootings


Gun violence in the United States continues to make headlines around the world, but Iraq’s Kurdistan Region is having its own struggle with the issue...


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Pope calls for peace, dialogue following deadly protests in Iraq


At the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis calls for peace, dialogue and fraternity in the wake of the violent protests in the...


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Deadly intra-Shiite violence rattles Iraq’s Kurds


The lethal protests pitting Iraq’s main Shiite factions against each other have prompted the country’s Kurds to play peacemaker, a high-wire balancing...


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Iraqi Kurdistan condemns Iraq oil company Somo's move threatening buyers of Kurdish crude


Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has condemned remarks by Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization...


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US condemns violence in Iraq; calls for dialogue


US officials expressed their concern about the violence in Iraq on Monday, as they called for dialogue while citing the demonstrators’ right to peaceful protest.


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Despite hardships, Yezidi female student scores high on exams


 A Yezidi girl scored a 99.5 overall GPA out of 100 in her final 12th-grade examinations despite the hardships she had suffered as a displaced member...


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PM Barzani says KRG is ready to help restore peace, stability across Iraq


Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Tuesday that he had expressed his government's readiness to help restore peace and stability in...


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