Ottawa, Canada (us.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman visited Ottawa, Canada this week to speak with the Canadian policymakers, members of Parliament, and the media.
Representative Abdul Rahman was invited by the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds Group, headed by Member of Parliament (MP) Tom Kmiec. She was hosted for a dinner and briefing session at the Parliament with the MP Kmiec and the five other members of the group. After providing updates on the situation in Kurdistan, Representative Abdul Rahman thanked the Group for their support on a range of issues related to Kurdistan. She welcomed their proposal of opening a Canadian Consulate in Erbil and reiterated KRG’s commitment to establishing a long term partnership with Canada. She also asked that more Canadian MPs join the group, reiterating the large Kurdistani population in Canada.
Representative Abdul Rahman met with Sean Boyd, Executive Director for Middle East Relations at Global Affairs Canada and with Adelle Ferguson, Deputy Director-General for International Security Policy at the Department of National Defence. In Canadian Parliament Representative Abdul Rahman met a number of Parliamentarians, many of whom also serve in the Shadow Cabinet. They included Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence MP Jean Rioux, Shadow Minister of Defence MP James Bezan, Deputy Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs MP Garnett Genuis, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs MP Matt DeCourcey.
In every meeting, Representative Abdul Rahman thanked the government of Canada for their military and humanitarian support to Kurdistan. She highlighted the important assistance that Canada has given to Yezidi victims of the genocide by ISIS. She asked that Canada continue to work to build and strengthen KRG institutions, protect minorities, and empower women.
Regarding the ongoing aggression towards Kurdistan by Iraqi military and Iranian-backed militia, Representative Abdul Rahman called on Canada and the international community to play a role in deescalating the situation, ensuring peace, and helping Erbil and Baghdad return to talks to solve disputes.
Earlier in the week, KRG released a statement offering to freeze the result of the referendum and enter into talks without preconditions.
The Canadian officials and the MPs praised the role of the Peshmerga in fight against ISIS and said that they valued their relationship with KRG. They also said that Canada supports solving the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad through dialogue and called for an end to the violence.
During the visit to Ottawa, Representative Abdul Rahman gave interviews to The Canadian Press, CBC Power and Politics, Global News’ The West Block with Tom Clark.
On Wednesday evening, Representative Abdul Rahman was hosted for a panel discussion and reception at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a Canadian think tank.