Kurdistan Regional Government
Representation in the United States Washington D.C.
Welcome to our February 2022 Newsletter 
For those watching the process of government formation in Iraq, February has been an eventful month.

The Federal Court provided its interpretation of Article 70 of the Iraqi constitution as saying that parliamentary quorum to elect the president is achieved when two-thirds of members of parliament are present. As a result, parliament failed to elect the president within 30 days of electing the speaker, as required by the constitution.

The court also prevented Hoshyar Zebari, the former Foreign Minister of Iraq, from running as a candidate for the presidency, citing a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in 2016 when he was Finance Minister, on allegations of corruption. Mr. Zebari has always denied those charges and he has never been convicted by any court. The Federal Court’s decision is widely viewed as politically motivated. Mr. Zebari was the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency.

Federal Court ruling on oil

The Federal Court on February 15 issued another disquieting decision, which the Kurdistan Region’s leadership has described as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘a flagrant violation of the Kurdistan Region’s constitutional rights and powers.’

The Federal Court said that Kurdistan Region’s 2007 oil and gas law is unconstitutional and the KRG should hand over its oil to the federal government.

The timing of the court’s decision has raised questions about its motivation.
President Nechirvan Barzani today, February 28, held a meeting with Kurdistan’s three other presidencies – the
heads of the government, parliament and judiciary – who said the court ruling is unacceptable and emphasized that the Kurdistan Region will continue to exercise its constitutional rights.

Munich Security Conference

A few days after the federal court’s ruling, President Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani were at the Munich Security Conference, meeting with other leaders from across the Middle East, Europe and the United States, including several members of the US Congress, among them Senator Lindsey Graham and Representatives Adam Schiff, Elissa Slotkin and Darrell Issa. In the congressional meetings, both sides expressed their appreciation for the US-Kurdistan partnership and discussed recent developments in Iraq and the region.

Podcast guest Congressman Langevin

We are honored to have Congressman Jim Langevin as the guest of our monthly podcast, Kurdistan in America. Mr. Langevin, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, not only overcame adversity but used it to motivate his public service in the US Congress. He discusses the US-Kurdistan relationship and how it has evolved from a humanitarian mission in 1991 to a partnership today.

That partnership includes business ties, and we are delighted that in March, two American trade delegations will be visiting Kurdistan. In early March, the US Kurdistan Business Council will be taking a trade mission that includes companies that have already invested in Kurdistan and Iraq, as well as new businesses that are visiting the country for the first time.

Later in the month, the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Michigan, will be taking executives that will look at potential investment in their ancestral land.

The KRG welcomes these visits and looks forward to expanding our economic and cultural ties with the United States.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
Representative to the United States
Kurdistan Regional Government
KRG Representative meets Russell Schiebel, Acting DAS for PRM

Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman had a cordial meeting with Russell Schiebel, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population...

KRG Envoy meets Head of Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman had a warm and cordial virtual meeting with Martin Manna, President of the Chaldean American Chamber...

The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Congressman Jim Langevin as its guest this month.

Congressman Langevin has been Representing Rhode Island's 2nd Congressional District since 2001. He is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security.

He shares his history of service in Congress and the potentially devastating experience that inspired him to run for office. He also expresses his views on the US-Kurdistan relationship as well as the security situation in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region.
Readout of meeting of Kurdistan Region’s four presidencies

President Nechirvan Barzani chaired a joint meeting of the Kurdistan Region's four presidencies, including the Kurdistan Region Presidency, the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, the Kurdistan Regional...

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Pres. Barzani announces general election date in Kurdistan

President Nechirvan Barzani signed a decree on Thursday which sets the date to hold the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The decree reads that in accordance with the 2005 Law Nr....

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President and PM meet with senior US Congressional Leaders

President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met with a high-level US Congressional Delegation, headed by Mr. Lindsey Graham in Germany today, on the sidelines of the Munich Security...

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President Barzani meets with NATO's Deputy Secretary General

Continuing his meetings in Germany today on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, President Nechirvan Barzani met with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Deputy Secretary General Mircea...

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President Barzani meets with President of ICRC

President Nechirvan Barzani met with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Peter Maurer, today in Germany on the second day of the Munich Security Conference. The President...

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President and Prime Minister of Kurdistan meet Head of UN

On the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany today, President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met with Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. At...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets with US Congressional delegation

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday met with Elissa Slotkin and Adam Schiff as part of the US Congressional delegation at the Munich Security Conference. Latest developments in...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets with Qatari Emir

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday met with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, in Doha. Both sides discussed the latest developments in Iraq, particularly...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets with GCC Secretary General

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Saturday met with Naif al-Hajraf, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Latest developments in Iraq, and the relationship...

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Statement regarding Kurdistan Region's election

In accordance with Decree No.33 of 25th February 2022, the Kurdistan Regional Government sets 1st October 2022 as the day of the sixth Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections.

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KRG deems Federal Supreme Court's ruling unconstitutional

Council of Ministers on Wednesday held its weekly meeting, led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the recent decision by Federal Supreme Court regarding KRG oil and gas sector.

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Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq on International Mother Language Day

On International Mother Language Day, I convey my best wishes to all Kurdish speakers wherever they are in the world. Language, as one of the easiest ways to recognize a nation, as the culture and identity of every nation, is...

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Speaker meets with Women in Leadership for Peace Group

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq on 9 February 2022 met with members of the Women in Leadership for Peace Group, who proposed creating a legal minimum quota for women in government positions. They discussed the role ...

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Parliament, KRG meet to plan for Turkmen and Syriac Academy

Kurdistan Parliament Secretary Muna Kahveci on 7 February 2022 chaired a meeting with the KRG Minister for the Region for Minorities Affairs Aydin Maruf, the Preparatory Committee for the Turkmen and Syriac Academy project and ...

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The Effect of US-Kurdish Relations on
Regional Politics: Webinar

The Foreign Affairs Institute of Greece hosted a panel discussion on February 28 on the interactive nature of the Kurdish-US relationship, with a focus on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, KRG Representative to the United States, joined Dr. Marianna Charountaki, from the University of Lincoln in the UK, and Dr. Morgan Kaplan, Fellow at Carnegie Endowment, in the discussion.
Cambridge University Press - Academic

Cambridge University Press hosted an online discussion on a newly published volume: The Cambridge History of the Kurds, a comprehensive book exploring the social, political and economic features of the Kurds form the 15th to the 21st century. 

Volume editors Hamit Bozarslan, Cengiz Gunes, and Veli Yadirgi, were joined in the debate by contributors Djene R Bajalan, Choman Hardi, and Isabel Käser.
US Senator, CENTCOM nominee-commander hail Kurds, Peshmerga

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today questioned Lieutenant General Michael Kurilla, nominated to...

Little attention given to Kurdish language in Iraq, Kurdistan Region

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Monday that the Kurdish language has not received enough attention in Iraq and the Region despite

Kurdistan Region to hold investment and industry conference

The Kurdistan Region Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Board of Investment announced future projects in the...

Iraqi Kurdistan hosts unique film festival against terrorism

On the feast of Eid Al-Adha, 18 years ago 117 people died and 133 were injured when two suicide bombers struck in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil...

Akre’s famous traditional ice cream dates back to 1958

The ancient city of Akre in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province, otherwise known as the capital of Newroz (the Kurdish New Year), also has a...

In Iraq’s Sinjar, Yazidi returns crawl to a halt amid fears of Turkish airstrikes

The number of Yazidis returning from camps to their historic homeland of Sinjar in northern Iraq has dramatically decreased in recent months, as...

Iraqi court bars Zebari from running for presidency

Iraq's Supreme Federal Court has ruled that former foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari is not eligible to run for the presidency amid corruption allegations...

Heavy storms hit hard in Iraq, become harder for displaced and vulnerable

Unprecedented heavy rains and snow not witnessed in over 40 years fell in the KRI in the last few weeks, with extreme subzero temperatures reaching minus...

How one family is hoping to preserve the art of traditional Kurdish music in Tennessee

Traditional Kurdish music has been a part of one family's history for decades. Now, a father is teaching his son how to carry on the family tradition.

Iraq's oil ministry to coordinate with KRG on energy portfolio: ministerial council

Iraq's National Security Council, headed by the prime minister, has decided to mandate the oil ministry in Baghdad to coordinate the energy portfolio with...

Rare Persian leopard held in Kurdistan zoo faces uncertain future

Six weeks ago the male leopard was caught in a trap set by a villager who had recently lost dozens of goats in the mountainous Batifa area of northern...

Beizar Aradini Uncovers Her Kurdish Roots

When I visit Beizar Aradini’s studio, she’s working on a commission — stretched across the embroidery hoop on her desk is fabric stitched with a grinning couple...

Stung by prison battle, Kurds say they need help against IS

Weeks after the long, furious battle with militants from the Islamic State group over a prison in northeastern Syria, the mangled wreckage of a car used...

KRG should resist Iraqi court ruling on its oil and gas: Brendan O'Leary

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should resist the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court's Feb. 15 ruling on its oil and gas sector since the court has...

A Kurdish Treat Becomes a Jerusalem Staple

On a chilly winter afternoon in the mid-1980s, I found myself in a recently opened restaurant called Ima in downtown Jerusalem. It was lunchtime...

Kurdish forces hand over ISIS suspects to Nineveh court

The Kurdish forces on Sunday handed over two alleged members of the Islamic State (ISIS) to a Nineveh court, Kurdistan counter-terrorism said in a statement...

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