Monday 31 July 2023

Minister Dizayee engages in productive discussions with Washington Think Tanks

Washington, DC, USA ( – Minister Safeen Dizayee, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), along with the new KRG Representative to the United States, Ms. Treefa Aziz, conducted a successful series of meetings with influential think tanks and research centers in Washington, DC, in July.

During their visit, Minister Dizayee and Representative Aziz engaged in meaningful dialogues with prominent experts and researchers, including esteemed individuals such as Henry Barkey, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; Naomi Kikoler, Director of the Holocaust Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide; Mona Yacoubian and Sarhang Hamasaleh, Vice Presidents and Directors of the Middle East Program, respectively, at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Victoria Coates, incoming Vice President and Senior Researcher at The Heritage Foundation; Michael Knights and Bilal Wahab, Senior Fellows at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Jonathan Lord, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS); and Paul Davis, Senior Fellow at the Institute of World Politics.

Crucial topics were discussed during these meetings, centering around pressing issues such as the oil and gas dispute impacting oil exports and agreements with Baghdad, the recently passed federal budget by the Iraqi Parliament, and security concerns in the region. Minister Dizayee expressed concerns about attempts to undermine the Kurdistan Region through political, economic, and security means. He provided a comprehensive update on the current state of Erbil-Baghdad relations, highlighting the cooperation with Iraqi Minister Sudani, the challenges related to internal political dynamics in Iraq, the Sinjar Agreement, security matters in the disputed areas, internal issues within the Kurdistan Region, and the upcoming regional parliamentary elections. Additionally, humanitarian issues were addressed, reflecting the Kurdistan Region's unwavering commitment to responding to the needs of vulnerable populations and displaced communities.

These meetings have proven to be of immense value, fostering stronger connections between the KRG and the think tank community in the United States. The engagements have furthered partnerships and nurtured mutual understanding on various regional and global issues, reinforcing the importance of collaboration in seeking sustainable solutions.