Kurdistan Regional Government
Representation in the United States Washington D.C.
Welcome to our June 2022 Newsletter 
This month, the pressure on the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas sector has intensified but the Kurdistan Regional Government is resolute in standing by its constitutional rights, its contracts with partners who invested in our energy sector, and in seeking a win-win outcome for both our government and the federal Iraqi government.

The legal and political pressure on Kurdistan has gone hand-in-hand with the rocket attacks on our oil and gas infrastructure, including three attacks in successive days on the Khor Mor gas field. Fortunately, there were no injuries and production did not stop. However, these attacks are unacceptable. These and the legal challenges facing the KRG and our partner-investors follow the Federal Court’s much-criticized ruling against the Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law.

Prime Minister’s statement on Recent Attacks 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani issued a statement on June 26, in which he said, ‘During my call with Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi, I emphasized the need for joint Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces to fill any remaining vacuum in the disputed territories used by lawless groups to recklessly destabilize the whole of the country. I explained to the Prime Minister that the attacks threaten the country’s electricity provision and the investment climate for all the country, and I have urged him to take public, practical measures to rein in the groups.’

‘I have also directed both Ministers of Peshmerga Affairs and Interior to take all measures necessary to protect critical public infrastructure and oil and gas installations. As part of the plan, we have agreed to reinforce the area with additional forces. More measures will be reviewed in the coming days.’

The Prime Minister also said ‘Last night, I also spoke with White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk. Our American friends, and every investor must remain committed; we cannot give into fear. Over the next few days, I will urge our international friends and partners, and the UN Security Council to renew efforts with Erbil and Baghdad and explore ways for us both to protect against more terror attack.’

The US State Department also issued a statement condemning the rocket and mortar attacks.

New US Ambassador

This month, Ms Alina Romanowski made her first trip to the Kurdistan Region as the new ambassador of the United States to Iraq. Ambassador Romanowski had a round of high-level meetings and visited the historic Erbil citadel. The United States supports two ongoing projects to revitalize the historic hammam and to establish a Children’s Museum Center there. 

While Ambassador Romanowski is starting her tour, US Consul General Robert Palladino is ending his assignment. Mr Palladino met with Kurdish leaders this month, who thanked him for his work the past year as the top American diplomat in the Kurdistan Region and for his work bringing Kurdistan and the United States closer. We at the KRG-US Representation also appreciate Mr. Palladino’s efforts and wish him success in his next post. 

Peshmerga reform

President Nechirvan Barzani met with a delegation headed by Major General John Brennan, the Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force, to discuss the unification of the peshmerga forces and other areas of the reform program. The United States has played a significant role in supporting and training our peshmerga forces and is playing a critical advisory role in the peshmerga reform program. 

A member of the committee that oversees the reform program is Peshmerga General Hazhar Ismail, who is the guest of our monthly podcast, Kurdistan in America. General Hazhar recounts his personal journey as a soldier and shares his views on the progress and challenges in implementing reform.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
Representative to the United States
Kurdistan Regional Government
KRG Representative welcomes US study on Kurdistan gas market

On Thursday June 30, KRG Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman joined a panel discussion at the public launch of a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy that outlines the potential of the Kurdistan gas sector.

KRG Envoy and Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs delegation attend IRF Summit

KRG Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman and staff received at the airport a delegation from the KRG Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs...

KRG Representative meets with U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman and Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, had an in-person...

Representative Abdul Rahman and DAS Stroul discuss peshmerga reform

Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman had a virtual meeting with Ms. Dana Stroul, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the...

Peshmerga delegation participates in U.S. National Defense University program

A delegation from the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs visited Washington DC in mid-June as part of an Iraqi security sector group participating in...

The Kurdistan in America podcast is honored to have Brigadier General Hazhar Ismail as our guest in the sixth episode of Season Three.

General Hazhar Ismael is a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. He followed in his father's footsteps by joining the peshmerga forces three decades ago. He helped establish the Freedom Battalion, the first Iraqi battalion created after the liberation of Iraq in 2003. He is also a co-founder and member of the Management Board of the Peshmerga Reform Program. He served as the KRG's representative for security and defense issues in the US-Iraq strategic dialogue.

The discussion focuses on the ongoing Peshmerga reform program, the state of coordination and collaboration between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga forces especially in the disputed areas, the US-Iraq strategic dialogue, and his experience in the Peshmerga forces.

General Hazhar Ismail obtained a bachelor's degree from the Zakho Military College in 1995 and a master's degree from the Joint Staff College in Baghdad in 2006, and graduated from the US Army War College in 2013. He is married and is the father of three sons and a daughter.
President Barzani receives the incoming Ambassador of the United States

At the meeting, the President congratulated Ms. Romanowski on assuming the office and wished her success. The President gave an overview of the latest developments in Iraq, the status of the political process in the country and ways to overcome the...

President Barzani meets with Mohammed al-Halbousi and Khamis al-Khanjar

President Nechirvan Barzani received today in Erbil the Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq, Mr. Mohammed al-Halbousi and the Head of the Azm Coalition, Mr. Khamis al-Khanjar.

President Barzani receives a high-level Iraqi delegation

President Nechirvan Barzani received a high-level Iraqi military and security delegation led by General Abdul Amir Rashid, Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army. The delegation included the Iraqi Chiefs of the Infantry, Air Force, Border Guards, Federal Police, Intelligence...

President Barzani meets with Commander of Combined Joint Task Force

The President of the Kurdistan Region and the Commander-in-Chief of the Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces Mr. Nechirvan Barzani received today in Erbil Major General John Brennan, the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force....

President Barzani supports efforts to find solutions to existing political impasse

The meeting discussed the latest political developments in Iraq, the challenges facing the country, and the ongoing efforts to reach a common understanding among all political parties to overcome the current gridlock.

PM Masrour Barzani meets new US Ambassador to Iraq

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Thursday met with Alina Romanowski, the new US Ambassador to Iraq. Prime Minister Barzani congratulated the new Ambassador on assuming office, wished...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets US Consul General

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday met with Robert Palladino, the US Consul General in Erbil, ahead of the conclusion of his duties. Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Consul...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets US military delegation

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday met with a US military delegation led by Brigadier General Keith Phillips, senior military advisor to the US Embassy in Iraq, at the end of...

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Statement by PM Masrour Barzani on recent terror attacks

Like citizens across Kurdistan, I have been deeply troubled by the repeated terror attacks on our people and public infrastructure in recent months. The cowards behind the attacks have ...

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PM Masrour Barzani meets top Iraqi military delegation

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday met with a top Iraqi military and security delegation led by General Abdel Emir Yarallah, the Chief of General Staff of the Iraqi Armed Forces.

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Deputy PM Talabani meets with new US Ambassador to Iraq

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Thursday met with the new US ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, and the Consul General in Erbil to discuss political developments in Iraq and ...

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Deputy PM Qubad Talabani visits Khor Mor gas field

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Saturday led a field visit to the Khor Mor gas field with the Ministers of Peshmerga and of Natural Resources and a number of security advisors.

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KRG Cabinet decides to continue negotiation with Baghdad

The Kurdistan Region Council of Ministers on Wednesday held its weekly meeting led by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. Opening the meeting, the Council was briefed on the KRG...

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Council of Ministers discusses development of tourism sector

The Kurdistan Region Council of Ministers on Sunday held a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and attended by his deputy Qubad Talabani. Opening the meeting, Prime...

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Speaker Faiq welcomes new Head of Board for disputed areas

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq on 20 June 2022 met with the new Head of the Board for the Kurdistani Areas outside the KRG Administrative Area, Mr. Fahmi Burhan. The meeting discussed the political, economic and...

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Speaker Faiq supervises Women's Rights Committee

Following a series of meetings with the relevant executive bodies in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Judicial Council and representatives of the Region's Presidency to hear their observations and comments on the Bill on ...

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Unlocking Natural Gas in the Iraq Kurdistan Region

Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a webinar to present the results of a recent U.S. Department of Energy-supported study which aims to assist the Kurdistan Regional Government in developing a commercially-robust and environmentally-sound gas market. The panel discussed the commercial and political attractions and challenges to realizing these aims.
The KRG Turns Thirty: The Future of U.S.-Kurdish Relations in Iraq 

The Washington Institute held a virtual Policy Forum with Jennifer Gavito, Qubad Talabani, and Bilal Wahab, who discuss the U.S.-Kurdish legacy along with current challenges facing the partnership. Gavito is the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran and Iraq. Talabani is the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government and former KRG Representative in Washington.
Department of State Press Statement: Attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan Region

The United States stands with our partners in condemnation of the repeated rocket and mortar attacks directed at the Iraqi Kurdistan Region...

Kurdistan Region parties discuss new proposal for parliamentary elections

The political parties of the Kurdistan Region met again with senior officials from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to...

Third rocket attack in 72 hours targets northern Iraq gas complex

A Katyusha rocket struck near an Emirati-owned gas complex in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region without causing damage or casualties, local...

International aid for IDPs and refugees in Duhok decreasing

As the world marked World Refugee Day on June 20, 131,700 refugees, mostly Syrians, still live in Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province...

AmCham Kurdistan aims to bring more American companies to the Kurdistan Region

 The President of the American Chamber of Commerce Kurdistan Region (AmCham Kurdistan), Dori Abouzeid, told Kurdistan 24 on Monday that they...

Sowing the seeds for a brighter future: Meet Azad Muhamad, the celebrity gardener of Iraqi Kurdistan

When The New Arab first arrived at Azad's farm near Halabja, he was deep in conversation with local blacksmiths to help construct a new structure for...

USAID to increase humanitarian funding to Kurdistan Region

Through an Identity Management System, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) saved millions of dollars per month...

A 3,400-year-old city in Iraq emerges from underwater after a drought

Kurdish and German archaeologists excavated the settlement in the Mosul reservoir, along the Tigris River in the Kurdistan region of...

Play helps reinvigorate public interest in theaters in Kurdistan Region

Bablo’s Last Days is a play that everyone is talking about in the Kurdistan Region. With a young cast and director, the play was performed in the theater in...

Reviving the Romance of the Kurdish Clove Apple

“One is the apple eaten by Adam and Eve that resulted in their expulsion from paradise,” he explains. “The second is Newton’s apple, which fell on his head...

Kurdistan Parliament amends oil and gas law

“Seventy-nine parliament members out of the 111 members voted for amending Article 4 of the oil and gas law, which is related to the structure of the...

KRG commends annual US report on religious freedom

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Friday welcomed a recent US State Department report which praised the government for taking...

Iraqi Kurdistan works to establish two oil firms

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is working to establish two oil firms, the latest move in the battle between Erbil and Baghdad to control...

The Necessary U.S. Role in Fixing the Baghdad-Kurdistan Energy Dispute

On February 15, 2022, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled that the 2007 oil and gas law for the Kurdistan Region was unconstitutional, requiring a review...

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