Wednesday 28 February 2024

KRG Prime Minister Meets with Congressional Leaders

Washington, D.C. ( — Prime Minister Barzani held a series of meetings with Congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate to discuss important matters pertaining to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. These discussions primarily focused on protecting and strengthening the political and economic viability of the Kurdistan Region.

During these meetings, Prime Minister Barzani emphasized the significance of continued support from the United States Congress to ensure peace and stability in the region. He also highlighted the Kurdistan Region's role in the fight against terrorism and reiterated the importance of maintaining security cooperation between the two nations.

Economic development and increased investment opportunities for U.S. companies in the Kurdistan Region were also discussed. Prime Minister Barzani affirmed his commitment to strengthening economic relations with the United States and highlighted the implementation of open market policies aimed at attracting foreign investments.

The discussions also addressed humanitarian issues, particularly focusing on the persistent challenges related to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Prime Minister Barzani appealed for increased support from the United States to alleviate the humanitarian strain and to assist these vulnerable communities.

During his meeting with the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman Jack Reed (Rhode Island) and Ranking Member Senator Wicker (Mississippi), Prime Minister Barzani thanked them for their leadership in providing air-defense equipment to the Kurdistan Region in the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He provided a comprehensive analysis on recent security challenges in the region and urged the Congress to ensure the implementation of the NDAA requirement in light of recent attacks.

Other notable meetings included Senator Tammy Duckworth (Illinois), Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Senator Chri Van Hollen (Marland), Congressman Don Bacon (Nebraska), Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (Michigan), and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida).

The American Kurdish Congressional Caucus hosted a breakfast briefing for the Prime Minister to address pressing issues in the region. Caucus co-Chairs Don Bacon (Nebraska) and Seth Moulton (Massachusetts) and other congressional members, including Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (California), Congressman Brad Wenstrup (Ohio) and Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (American Samoa) attended the briefing.

Finally, Ross Perot Jr. organized a welcome dinner for Prime Minister Barzani with several leaders of Congress, including the Chair of prominent congressional committees, such as the committees on foreign relations, intelligence, appropriations, and defense.

Several U.S. government officials also attended the dinner, including Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Victoria Nuland, Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Steve Bitner, Director of Iraqi Desk and Michael Day, Senior Advisor on Kurdish Affairs at Department of State.

The Kurdistan Regional Government enjoys robust bipartisan support in the United States Congress. Prime Minister Barzani's engagement with a diverse array of congressional leaders exemplifies the depth and breadth of this enduring relationship. It underscores the importance placed on bipartisan cooperation in advancing mutual interests and strengthening ties between the Kurdistan Region and the United States.