Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, on Tuesday, March 23, took part in an online event hosted by the United States Institute of Peace examining US-Iraq relations 18 years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
The Kurdistan Regional Government envoy joined Ambassador Fareed Yasseen, Iraq’s Ambassador to Washington, and Ambassador Matthew Tueller, the US Ambassador to Baghdad. Lise Grande, USIP’s President, made opening remarks, and Sarhang Hamasaeed of USIP moderated the discussion.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Ms. Abdul Rahman welcomed the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and said she hoped that his message of fraternity could be built upon. She said Kurdistan was a safe haven for those fleeing persecution and should be protected. She asked the United States and other partners to work with Erbil and Baghdad to reach a sustainable settlement on the outstanding issues that have at times caused instability in the country.
Ambassadors Teuller and Yasseen noted the March 16 anniversary of the Halabja genocide and the Newroz holidays. Ambassador Teuller said the United States is resolute in its commitment to a stable, sovereign, democratic, and prosperous Iraq.
Ambassador Yasseen said the situation in Iraq remains challenging, while the relationship with the United States had normalized. He said Iraq wishes to be free of geopolitical tensions between American and Iran and was pleased to report that Iraq had lifted visa requirements for Americans.