Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw and his delegation ended a productive week of meetings in Washington DC with members of Congress, US officials at the State Department and USAID, and the United State Institute of Peace following a series of meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
Their trip to Washington highlighted the humanitarian, security, and economic situation in Erbil province, home to the Kurdistan Region's capital, which is known for its diversity, economic development, and as a safe haven for those fleeing persecution.
Governor Khoshnaw, accompanied by KRG Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, held meetings with Thomas A. Kelsey, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq, and Scott Turner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees, to discuss the security and humanitarian situation in Kurdistan and Iraq.
Erbil city has come under ballistic-missile attack from Iran and has been targeted by some militia groups within Iraq. Governor Khoshnaw reiterated the KRG’s commitment to peace within Iraq and with its neighbors and called for support for Iraqi sovereignty.
The Governor and Ms Abdul Rahman also met with Andrew Plitt, the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Middle East at the United States Agency for International Development. They discussed the humanitarian situation in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed areas, especially concerning security issues that prevent the internally displaced people (IDPs) from returning to their homes in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain. The Governor thanked America for the humanitarian and technical assistance it has provided in the past and called for continued support to address current challenges.
The delegation also visited Capitol Hill and met separately with Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Congressman Steve Chabot. The Governor updated them on the security and humanitarian developments in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region, highlighting the threats to the peace and stability of Erbil and Iraq. He thanked members of Congress for their support to the people of Kurdistan and the Peshmerga.
Governor Khoshnaw also spoke at a roundtable discussion hosted by the US Institute of Peace, where he outlined the political developments and security challenges facing Kurdistan and Iraq. He also met with the leadership and members of the United States Kurdistan Business Council, where he shed light on the investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region and the support his province provides to investors.